To support parents, the State of Ohio has increased investment in programs designed to equip parents with essential skills, provide ongoing support, and mentoring.
Under Governor DeWine’s leadership, the Ohio Department of Health has more than doubled its investment in evidence-based home visiting programs and streamlined eligibility, making enrollment available to any family under 200% of the federal poverty line, that’s $36,620 or less for a family of two, and serving children up to 5 years of age. These completely voluntary programs currently serve nearly 8,000 families across all 88 counties helping parents set and achieve goals; training them in parenting techniques to help their child achieve developmental milestones; connecting them to mental and physical healthcare and social services; and so much more.
These programs are proven to work – reducing parenting stress, improving skills, and making children more ready for kindergarten. In addition, the program helps parents achieve financial independence through education and work. In fact, roughly 7,500 family goals relate to adult education, employment, and training, such as these real-life examples:
Assisting a new mother struggling with opioid use disorder achieve sustained recovery and work toward her bachelor’s degree, while also supporting the child overcome behavioral and speech challenges that resulted in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Today, the child has made significant advancements, no longer requiring an IEP.
Supporting a teen-mom achieve stability after her relationship with her family was severed. The mom was able to graduate from high school, enroll in college on a full academic scholarship, and is on-track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in education.
The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services jointly invest $15.5 million to support mentoring, parent education, marriage counseling, ultrasound services, and tangible supports such as baby showers, diapers, cribs, car seats and more. Through more than 54 faith- and community-based groups, women across the state have access to these valuable services.
The Governor’s Children’s Initiative, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, is expanding the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) statewide for all families. Triple P is an evidence-based program that equips parents with strategies to address challenging behaviors, build healthy relationships, and thrive as parents. The program is completely free and offered online and in-person.
The Ohio Department of Health trains community members and new and expectant mothers on ways to promote safe environments for their children, through smoking cessation – which can reduce preterm births, the greatest driver of infant mortality – and safe sleep programs.
The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library provides a free book mailed monthly to all participating children up to age five. With the help of the state legislature, Governor DeWine expanded the program statewide and now more than 316,000 young children receive a book each month encouraging early literacy skills and promoting kindergarten readiness.