Over 20 years ago, an informal national network of home visiting program models was established to share successes and concerns as well as to provide a professional support effort for the leaders of the programs. Years later this group became the core of what is now the national Home Visiting Coalition. Collaborative relationships like the Home Visiting Coalition have deep roots and, as a result, many state and local collaborative efforts have emerged.
A collaborative in Arkansas was developed by the state's active evidence-based models and interested stakeholders such as the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Department of Human Services-Division of Early Childhood Education, and the Arkansas Children's Hospital to build a foundation of support for home visiting in the state. This collaborative became know as the Arkansas Home Visiting Network.
When the federal government set aside substantial funding to expand home visiting in the nation in 2011, it was only logical that the Arkansas Department of Health chose to partner with the Arkansas Home Visiting Network to help implement the Arkansas expansion. The Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding administered by the Arkansas Department of Health supports the expansion of many of the home visiting models that are part of the Arkansas Home Visiting Network.
This increased funding for home visiting in the state through two MIECHV grants has allowed for further growth and development of the network as a tool for promoting and sustaining high quality, voluntary home visiting programs in the state. Funding has also allowed for the addition of the Arkansas Home Visiting Training Institute and for the development of an evaluation component to home visiting programs participating in the expansion.
Today, the Arkansas Home Visiting Network is a thriving coalition of providers and stakeholders that work together to ensure home visiting is utilized to help Arkansas families be the best they can be.