Press Release, 6/23/16 Parent-Child Home Program will serve more families thanks to large increase in state funding
CONTACT: Kristi Murray
Jewish Family and
Children’s Service of Minneapolis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Parent-Child Home Program will serve more families thanks to large increase in state funding
MINNETONKA, MN, June 23, 2016 –
Thanks to a substantial boost in state funding, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) will soon be able to serve 300 families through its Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) – expanding capacity beyond the 136 families the program serves now and the 18 families it served when it launched in 2006.
The Minnesota Legislature approved an additional $2 million in one-time funding for PCHP, which can be used over the next three years. This is an increase over the current funding of $700,000 per biennium.
PCHP is an intensive home visiting program for low-income families with children ages 2-4 that addresses school readiness, parenting skills and child development. It helps underserved children bridge the achievement gap and prepare them for success in school by bringing highly-trained home visitors from the community into the homes of families for twice-weekly visits over a two-year period. The program – which serves families in Minneapolis, suburban Hennepin County and rural Cass County – is provided to families at no cost to them.
JFCS would especially like to thank Sen. Terri Bonoff and Rep. Jenifer Loon the chief authors of the legislation which made this increase possible. We are also grateful to Sens. Dick Cohen, Chuck Wiger, Tom Saxhaug, Carla Nelson and Melisa Franzen, as well as Reps. Sondra Erickson, Yvonne Selcer, and Tom Anzelc for their support.
JFCS and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) are proud to have partnered once again at the State Capitol to achieve this great outcome. In particular, we are grateful to Ethan Roberts, Director of the Government Affairs Director of the Twin Cities Jewish Community Government Affairs Program, for his advocacy in making this funding a reality.
PCHP has consistently received bipartisan support at the State Capitol. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the Legislature has incrementally increased funding for the program since the initial state contract in 2012.
The new funding enables JFCS to increase the number of families served through PCHP, but the program will still rely on private dollars to reach the goal of serving 300 families. JFCS held its 9th Annual PCHP Graduation on June 5 — to date, almost 340 families have graduated from the program since its inception
JFCS is the only organization in Minnesota to operate PCHP – a highly effective, evidence-based early-childhood literacy program that has been a proven beginning for school success since 1965. Data collected has shown that children from low-income families who participate in two years of PCHP have a high-school graduation rate of 84 percent, compared to the 64.8 percent national graduation rate for this demographic.
Another study found that PCHP has such a high ratio of earnings effect to net program costs because the program achieves a considerable increase in the high school graduation rate at a relatively low program cost per child of $5,000 a year. The estimated return on investment to state taxpayers is $4.40 for every $1 spent.
PCHP’s home visitors work with children from families who are largely refugees or immigrants to help parents become their children’s first and most important teachers and generate enthusiasm for learning and verbal interaction through the use of engaging books and toys. The program serves a diverse community and our staff reflects that diversity. Two of JFCS’ current home visit staff are former PCHP participant parents.
Researchers have found that children from low-income families are at risk of hearing 30 million fewer words than their higher-income peers by age 3. In contrast, children who participate in PCHP make strong gains in vocabulary and reading comprehension.
PCHP staff help parents develop a language-rich home environment, increase their involvement in their children’s education, and access the resources that will support their family stability and productivity.
The “gentle touch” employed by the home visitors empowers parents, allowing them to prepare their children for school success and take pride in their commitment to, and impact on, their child’s education. Parents in the program routinely report that their relationships with their children improve dramatically as a result.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS), a non-profit located in Minnetonka, provides essential services to people of all ages and backgrounds to sustain healthy relationships, ease suffering and offer support in times of need.
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.
For more information call 952-546-0616 or visit www.jfcsmpls.org.