New Release: 2020 Annual Report of the DC Home Visiting Council
By Nisa Hussain, Early Childhood Program Manager
We are pleased to announce the release of the 2020 Annual Report of the District of Columbia Home Visiting Council. In this report, you will find the most updated data on the current home visiting programs in the District. The report also reflects on the Home Visiting Council’s efforts to support home visiting programs to best serve expectant families and families with young children during a particularly difficult year.
In fiscal year 2020--as in 2019--13 organizations implemented 16 home visiting programs. In total, these programs had the capacity to serve about 1,362 children. For the first time, this year’s annual report shares how many families home visiting programs served. In 2020, 1,277 families benefited from the support of a home visiting program.
All families need extra support when they are expecting or raising a young child. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic amplified the existing disparities some DC families have long faced due to racism, barriers to economic opportunity, and other challenges. Before and during the pandemic, home visiting provides additional support to families who want and neweeed it, and are well-positioned to support them during times of crisis. Before and during the pandemic, home visiting programs are well positioned to support families during times of crisis by providing additional support to families who want and need it. This year’s annual report highlights the ways that home visiting programs quickly pivoted to meet the urgent needs of families and helped them cope with intensified stressors throughout 2020. Some adaptations home visitors made this year include the following.
- The majority of home visiting programs in DC successfully transitioned to virtual only visits.
- The needs of families shifted during the pandemic, so home visitors’ priorities are around fulfilling basic needs and recognizing amplified stressors.
- Home visitors shared the collective impacts of the pandemic, particularly around an increase in stress and overwhelm. However, their own needs did not shift as significantly, possibly due to the flexibility of working from home.
This year’s report also summarizes the work of the DC Home Visiting Council in 2020 and the latest information on the District’s home visiting landscape, including the funding streams and capacity to serve families for each home visiting program. In 2020, the Home Visiting Council continued its work to strengthen home visiting as a strategy to support positive child and family outcomes in the District by addressing the systemic needs of home visiting programs, their staff, and the families they support.
Since 2020 was the final year of the HV Council’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan, this report reviews the accomplishments of each subcommittee’s work over the last three years. Following the conclusion of this three-year effort, the report reveals the brand new 2021-2023 Strategic Plan and the HV Council’s intentions for the next three years. This plan includes a refreshed vision, mission, and three-year goals, as well as a new set of Home Visiting Council values and a theory of change statement.
While we are in a place during 2021 that feels increasingly hopeful, as more and more DC residents have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the impacts of COVID-19 will continue to impact families in the District. Home visiting will play an important role in families’ efforts to regain stability. The HV Council will continue to work to support a strengthened early childhood system to ensure families are supported in this recovery moving forward.