An e-newsletter that showcases how children learn and grow each month from birth to 3 years. From Baby to Big Kid translates the science of early childhood and offers strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child. Sign Up!
Planning for Home Visitation in Montana Engages Communities
Home Visiting, Quality Improvement
Source Of Information:
ZERO TO THREE Policy Center state updates
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
Montana is supporting communities in the process of assessing needs and developing plans for implementing strong home visiting programs. In 2012, the state agency responsible for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, disseminated the ZERO TO THREE Home Visiting Community Planning Tool (http://www.zerotothree.org/public-policy/state-community-policy/home-visiting-community-planning-tool-fillable-pdf.pdf) to all local counties and tribes receiving MIECHV development grant funding to develop or strengthen early childhood community coalitions.
The tool was included as a required element of the community assessment process because it leads communities through the key components of developing a strong, sustainable home visiting program. Some examples of components include: recruitment and engagement of families; staff qualifications and professional development; partnerships and collaboration; and financing and sustainability. Together, these components ensure high-quality service delivery that is true to the intent of those who developed the program model and that meets expressed community needs.
To start the process, Montana divided communities into those that had already started their assessment process with the ZERO TO THREE tool, and those that were in the beginning phases of planning their community assessments. The MIECHV Technical Assistance Coordinating Center assisted Montana in offering two webinars aimed at each level to introduce the tool, articulate the tool’s rationale, discuss the key programmatic components of community planning, and explain how other states are implementing the tool.
All communities in the state worked with an assessment expert to facilitate the assessment and planning process. Communities determined who was involved in completing the tool and the timelines for completion of the community assessment. This allowed communities without existing early childhood coalitions to spend time developing relationships and getting early childhood partners engaged before launching into the formal planning process. All communities completed their assessments by the end of 2012.
Results of the tool are being used by communities to plan for implementing evidence-based home visiting programs and strengthening existing programs. They will also inform the state agency about the status of planning for home visitation and areas in which additional information or technical assistance may be needed. Together, it is hoped that this systematic way of planning will create an infrastructure that will support a growing network of evidence-based home visiting programs in Montana.