††††††††††† Rep. Rick Jones offered the following resolution:
††††††††††† House Resolution No. 81.
††††††††††† A resolution to memorialize the United States Congress to enact the Education Begins at Home Act.
††††††††††† Whereas, Each year, an estimated 2.7 million children in America are abused or neglected, including 900,000 cases that are actually investigated and verified by overburdened state child protection systems. Nationally, more than 1,400 children die from abuse or neglect each year. Over half of them were previously unknown to child protective services. In Michigan during 2005, 147,628 families were investigated for suspected child maltreatment. In those families investigated, 28,154 children were confirmed to be victims of child abuse and neglect. Of all confirmed cases of abuse and neglect, more than a third involved children three years old or younger. Another 19,265 children were in out-of-home placement as the result of child abuse and neglect and delinquency; and
††††††††††† Whereas, Children who survive abuse or neglect likely carry the emotional scars for life, while studies also show that being abused or neglected multiplies the risk that a child will grow up to be violent. The best available research indicates that, based on confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in just one year, of these children, there will be an additional 35,000 adult violent criminals and more than 250 murderers who would never have become violent criminals if not for the abuse or neglect they endured as children. Fortunately, evidence-based in-home parent coaching programs can prevent child abuse and neglect, and reduce later crime and violence. In general, these programs provide voluntary coaching to parents of children up to five years old in home settings for some period of time; and
††††††††††† Whereas, A number of programs exist to help parents. The Nurse Family Partnership randomly assigned interested at-risk pregnant women to receive in-home visits by nurses starting before the birth of the first child and continuing until the child was two years old. The program cut abuse and neglect among at-risk children in half according to research published in a leading medical journal. In addition, children of mothers who received this coaching had 59% fewer arrests by age 15 than the children of mothers who were not coached. Yet this program reaches only a tiny fraction of eligible parents. Other major home visiting programs include Parents as Teachers, Healthy Families America, Early Head Start, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, and the Parent-Child Home Program. However, hundreds of thousands of at-risk mothers across the country receive no in-home parent coaching. The impacts of child abuse and neglect cost Americans $94 billion a year. In 2005, the direct cost of child abuse and neglect in Michigan was an estimated $531,744,598. Prevention efforts such as Michiganís 0-3 Secondary Prevention Initiative, which reflects the use of a variety of program models, saved an estimated $41,268,095 in direct costs associated with child abuse and neglect; and
††††††††††† Whereas, In the 109th Congress, Senator Bond and Representatives Davis and Platts, together with many of their colleagues, cosponsored the bipartisan Education Begins at Home Act in the Senate and House (S. 503/H.R. 3628) to provide grants to help states establish or expand voluntary in-home parent coaching programs for families with young children. The Education Begins at Home Act would have authorized $400 million over three years in grants from the United States Department of Health and Human Services for voluntary in-home parent coaching programs. The Education Begins at Home Act would also have authorized $100 million over three years in grants for voluntary in-home parent coaching programs for English language learners and military families. These programs would strengthen Early Head Start, which includes center-based and in-home parent coaching components. Each of the major home visiting programs operates in Michigan, and the Education Begins at Home Act would allow program flexibility so that states would not be tied to one particular model. These voluntary programs would help new parents learn skills to promote healthy child development and be better parents; now, therefore, be it
††††††††††† Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we memorialize the United States Congress to reintroduce an expanded Education Begins at Home Act. We encourage sponsors of the new bill to include separate funding authorization levels for each of the next five years, to target funding first toward jurisdictions with the greatest need, and to ensure that funding priority be given to evidence-based approaches that deliver effective results in improving outcomes for children and families; and be it further
††††††††††† Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.