Wisconsin awarded $11 million grant to support pregnant women, children and families

Wisconsin ranks among lowest teen pregnancy rates

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has given the state an $11 million grant to expand the Family Foundations Comprehensive Home Visiting (FFHV) program, according to a Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) release.

The program, run by DCF and the Department of Health Services, aims to help children born in at-risk communities and reduce child abuse and neglect in Wisconsin. 

“Instead of reacting to child abuse after it has already occurred, FFHV uses available data to identify families that are at risk for child maltreatment because of the stressors they face and offer them the support and services needed to learn how to handle those stressors,” DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson said.

FFHV currently has 14 evidence-based home visiting programs in 15 counties and four tribal communities. Home visiting programs are voluntary and provide women supportive services early in pregnancy.

“We know that early interventions produce positive outcomes, and the time we invest in helping children and families at the start will eliminate the need for more costly interventions once the child becomes an adult,” DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades said.

The additional funding will be used to continue providing home visiting services to at-risk pregnant women, children up to the age of 5 and their families. The grant will also go toward expanding services and the program’s reach. According to the release, officials anticipate that an additional 150 households can be registered for a total of 1,300 families served.