Mid-August TANF Update for Virginia's Home Visiting Programs
As we shared three weeks ago, many of Virginia’s home visiting programs are at risk of losing funding because of the decline in the TANF balance over the next two fiscal years. The projected TANF Balance as of 6/30/23 is $46,316,648. By 6/30/24, the projected TANF Balance is $4,185,257. Virginia needs to plan how it will continue supporting home visiting programs while managing this reduction in TANF spending.
1) Fill funding gaps with General Fund to leverage federal funding and continue services
2) Partner with Early Impact Virginia, in collaboration with Families Forward Virginia, to develop alternative funding streams for home visiting programs
The 2022 GA directed the VA Department of Social Services to create a workgroup to make recommendations, one of which was: “…continuing to support those programs with state general funds.”
Here is the link to this important report: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Interim Working Group Report – January 2023 (virginia.gov)
We know that home visiting benefits families, children and communities by:
· Improving maternal and infant health
· Promoting equity and reducing health disparities
· Increasing school readiness and social-emotional development
· Building healthy, nurturing relationships that lead to long-term family stability
· Saving resources – up to $5.70 for every dollar invested
THE CALL TO ACTION
Right now, it’s critical that home visiting programs remind your local governments, state legislators and state-office candidates of the critical value home visiting creates in your communities. Many localities are developing their legislative agendas right now, and we need your help to ensure home visiting funding needs are included in those agendas.
Here are the steps you can take over the next three weeks:
1. You can confirm your legislators and state candidates by checking here.
2. Next, go to this blog post [Virginia’s Home Visiting Programs and TANF (familiesforwardva.org)] and download the sample email that is provided, use the verbiage or similar and then send your legislator and state candidates the email(s).
3. Check this FAQ on our Advocacy page for frequently asked questions – we’ll update regularly.
4. Lastly, let us know what you did and where you need help! By compiling a database of every email, phone call, social media post, etc. that you’re engaging in, we’ll be able to see where we’re gaining traction; that way we can follow up and adjust our outreach.
Please email us at AdvCoord@familiesforwardva.org to let us know what you did, who you contacted, and if you got any response.