Maryland Department of Health Expands Maternal and Child Home Visits

01 September 2022

Media contacts:

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

Chase Cook, Deputy Director of Media Relations, 410-767-8649

Maryland Department of Health Expands Maternal and Child Home Visits

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 grant funding awarded to four organizations to expand evidence-based home visiting services for pregnant people and parents of young children.

Funding provided by Health Services Expenditure Review Commission in Support of State 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 grant funding 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 infant and child health, promotes educational development and school readiness, and helps prevent child abuse and neglect. Home visits by trained professionals provide families with parenting information, resources and support from the time of pregnancy through the first two to five years of a child’s life.

Photo and video courtesy of A healthy start in Baltimore

“Home Visiting supports expectant parents and families with the resources and skills they need to raise physically, socially and emotionally healthy children,” said Dr. Jinlen Chan, MDH Under Secretary for Public Health Services. “Expanding home visiting will help vulnerable families who face additional parenting challenges such as postpartum depression and a lack of social and financial support to create a healthier, more positive environment for their new baby, growing child and the whole family.”

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

Expanding home visits is part of the state’s efforts to address disparities that impact maternal and child health, particularly in at-risk communities. Data show that black women are at the highest 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.

Funds to expand home visiting in Maryland will support programs in high-priority areas with high rates of severe maternal morbidity, including Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Washington counties. MDH will provide funding for the first year of the following programs:

  • Baltimore Healthy Start (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 Great kids curriculum designed for home visits beginning in the gestational stage of pregnancy. Families will be offered standard BHS case management and care coordination services through the Chase Brexton-based substance use disorder medication-assisted treatment program.

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

  • The family tree will expand home visiting services in Baltimore City through Parents as Teachers (PAT) model. Home visitors make regular visits from prenatal through kindergarten. The A TAPPING curriculum focuses on mental health, nutrition, maternal depression, substance use, and domestic violence.

  • Washington County Health Department will expand existing home visiting services through the program’s local affiliate Healthy Families America. The program will offer services to families beginning prenatally and continuing through the child’s fifth birthday. Watch a Healthy Families America home visiting success story.

Maternal and child health care is the main health priority of the state. This is a major focus of Maryland ON TARGET, a coordinated public-private initiative to improve health, reduce disparities, and transform health care delivery. To learn more about MDH’s efforts to improve the health of families across the country, visit https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/mch/Pages/home.aspx.

For more information about home visiting programs in Maryland, 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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