WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) met with Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin in Washington, D.C. Brown, Blackwell, and Russell discussed the success of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Programs in Ohio and the pressing need to extend funding for the program which is set to expire on March 31, 2015. Chief Blackwell and Sherriff Martin spoke under the auspices of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a bipartisan non-profit anti-crime organization.

“Home Visiting programs are proven methods to help ensure that at-risk parents have the resources needed to ensure the safety and emotional and physical development of their children,” Brown said. “Prevention begins in the home and the Home Visiting model is critical for the well-being of our communities.”

The formalized grant program for the MIECHV program was authorized as part of the health law in 2010. It provides federal grants that states and localities use to implement intensive home visiting services for high-risk families, facilitated by nurses, social workers, and parent educators. These trained professionals provide parents with family support and coaching, and help families access community resources. Participants in these programs experience lower rates of abuse, neglect, and incarceration.

Brown continues to be a strong advocate for programs that support mothers and babies before and after birth. He helped pass the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 in March, commonly known as the “doc fix”, which included his amendment to extend the MIECHV program for another six months, past its expiration date of September 30, 2014. He will continue to support extension of this critical prevention program in 2015. 

Brown also introduced the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act, a bill which standardizes and enhances reporting of unexpected deaths in infants and young children to help authorities better understand causes of infant and young children death and prevent them. The legislation passed the House in September and is scheduled for markup by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions tomorrow.