The state plans to spend more to help families impacted by the opioid epidemic raise children.
Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller said $4 million in this fiscal year’s budget will be used to expand evidence-based home visiting programs to help about a thousand Pennsylvania families.
Those programs include Early Head Start, Healthy Families America, Nurse Family Partnership Program and Parents as Teachers. The programs aren’t new, but with families torn apart by opioid addiction and parents lost to drug overdoses, the programs need more resources than ever.
The funds will be distributed to about 20 groups across the state that provide in-home support for families, Miller said.
“Expanding access to home visiting services will help parents who are in recovery or people who are now caring for a child who has lost a parent due to addiction.”
A total of $51.9 million is allocated for home visiting in this year’s budget through a combination of state and federal funding.
An additional $500,000 is being set aside for training related to the care of newborns, children and youth caseworkers, evidence-based home-visiting, and other resources tied to families struggling with substance abuse, Miller said.