Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 2, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. MOORE of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I rise to provide enthusiastic support of this bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, now to be named after our late, marvelous colleague, Ms. Jackie Walorski.

This strong reauthorization for 5 years would provide additional funding. It would double the Tribal home visiting set-aside to respond to the needs of Tribal communities for home visiting and address workforce shortages, among other things.

Now, home visiting is not just some feel-good policy. As my colleagues on both sides have indicated, it has been repeatedly evaluated and consistently proven to provide improved outcomes for families and children, and we have good data that shows that it works.

Importantly, we have families that are stronger because they have gotten the help that they needed when they needed it. We have new moms, for example, who have access to help at critical points as they try to navigate this exciting but frightening moment in life.

Oh, my goodness. It reminds me of when I was 18 years old some 50 years ago and had my first baby. I had a baby who had an asthma attack 4 days after birth, and I didn't even know how to change a diaper. The home visiting program was a fail-safe for me.

I think, too, of women like Brittany who live in our community. She benefited from Children's Wisconsin's Healthy Families Milwaukee County Home Visiting Program 8 years ago but then reached out to the Home Visiting Program earlier this year for help because she was now pregnant again after a recent cancer diagnosis.

Brittany trusted her home visitor to help guide her through this pregnancy as they had supported her in the past. They were able to set up home visits and help Brittany advocate for her own healthcare, for herself as well as her unborn child, and supported the entire family.

When they asked Brittany what was the most valuable thing that she got from the program other than, of course, the plethora of help, one of the things that struck me was that her home visitor helped her to learn to trust her own instincts, something that you have to have if you are a mom.