Home visiting programs are voluntary, family-focused services offered to expectant parents and families with new babies and young children to support the physical, social, and emotional development of a child. Through the Home Visiting Services Account (HVSA), Washington State funds 44 programs with the capacity to serve about 2,800 families statewide.
In 2021 the Legislature adopted a budget proviso recognizing the complexities of the current home visiting system as well as the potential for expansion. The Legislature requested that the Home Visiting Advisory Committee (HVAC) “make recommendations to [DCYF] and the Legislature by June 1, 2022, containing strategies for supporting home visiting providers and serving additional families.”
Over the past year, the Home Visiting Advisory Committee, comprised of home visiting providers, advocates, state agency partners, and other allied professionals, conducted a process to deliver recommendations for improvements to the home visiting system. The recommendations highlight the importance of continued expansion of home visiting slots and emphasize the investments necessary to support our home visiting workforce and improve equity.
Broken down by immediate, short-, medium-, and long-term (as well as by anticipated budgetary impact), this report details overarching recommendations, as well as recommendations for workforce development, true cost of service, and data enhancement. The included recommendations build upon previous studies and expand upon the positive outcomes of the existing home visiting system and investments.