Maryland Department of Health expands home visits for mothers and children

September 01, 2022

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Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536

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Maryland Department of Health expands home visits for mothers and children

Four organizations will share $865,622 in the first year of a three-year expansion

Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced more than $865,000 in grants to four organizations to expand evidence-based home visiting services to pregnant people and parents of young children.

Funding, made available by the Health Services Cost Review Commission to support the Statewide Integrated Health Improvement Strategy (SIHIS), is part of a three-year expansion of home visiting that will provide more than $2.26 million in total grants between August 15, 2022 and June 30, 2025.

Home visiting is a voluntary family support program driven by referrals from providers, hospitals, local health departments and community organizations. The program promotes healthy infants and children, promotes academic development and school readiness, and helps prevent child abuse and neglect. Home visits by trained professionals provide families with information, resources and parenting support from the time of pregnancy through the first two to five years of a child’s life.

Photo and video courtesy of Healthy departure from Baltimore

“Home visits help pregnant parents and families with the resources and skills they need to raise physically, socially and emotionally healthy children, said Dr. Jinlene Chan, MDH Assistant Secretary for Human Services. of public health. “Expanding home visiting will help vulnerable families who face additional parenting challenges like postpartum depression and lack of social and financial support to create more healthy and supportive environments for their new baby, toddler full growth and the whole family.”

Evidence-based home visiting models are rigorously evaluated and have been shown to improve maternal and child health by connecting families to essential community services. Participants receive home education, case management, and referrals to services based on their individualized needs, including access to prenatal care, baby checkupspostpartum support, safe sleep training, child injury prevention, and early development of language and literacy skills.

The expansion of home visits is part of the state’s efforts to address disparities that impact maternal and child health, especially in at-risk communities. Data shows that black women are most at risk of maternal mortality and morbidity. Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Babies born to non-Hispanic black women are twice as likely to die before their first birthday.

The Maryland Home Visiting Expansion Funds will support programs in high-priority areas with significant high numbers of serious maternal morbidities, including Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Washington counties. MDH will provide first-year funding to the following programs:

  • Healthy Departure from Baltimore (BHS) will partner with Chase Braxton Glen Burnie Health Center to expand home visiting services to postpartum women in Anne Arundel County. The program will use the big kids curriculum, designed for home visits beginning at the gestational stage of pregnancy. Families will be offered standard BHS case management and care coordination services through the Chase Brexton Medication Assisted Treatment for Substance Use Disorders program.

  • Montgomery County Health Department will expand the Healthy Born Babies (BBH) program using the March of Dimes Becoming a Mom (BAM) study programme. BAM improves maternal knowledge through a community model of collaborative care, prenatal education and quality prenatal care. BBH will serve high-risk pregnant women at any stage of their pregnancy and will follow the mother and child until the child reaches six months of age.

  • Family tree will expand home visiting services in the city of Baltimore through the Parent Teachers (PAT) model. Home visitors make regular visits from the prenatal period to kindergarten. The TAP program focused on mental health, nutrition, maternal depression, substance abuse and domestic violence.

  • Washington County Department of Health expand existing home visitation services through the local outreach program Healthy Families America. The program will provide services to families beginning with the prenatal period and continuing until the child’s fifth birthday. Watch a Healthy Families America home visit success story.

Maternal and child health is a top population health priority for the state. It is a primary goal of Maryland’s SIHIS, a coordinated public-private initiative to improve health, reduce disparities and transform the delivery of health care. To learn more about MDH’s efforts to improve the health of families statewide, visit https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/mch/Pages/home.aspx.

For more information on Maryland’s home visiting programs, visit

https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/mch/pages/home_visiting.aspx.

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The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement.

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Calvin W. Soper