PLEASE NOTE: This blog is a bigotry free zone open to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, physical or mental disability, age, or sexual orientation. Further, this blog is open to the broad variety of opinions out there and will not delete any comments based upon point of view. However, comments will be deleted if they are worded in an abusive manner and show disrespect for the intellectual process.
Showing posts with label HOME VISITING PROGRAM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HOME VISITING PROGRAM. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


In September 2013, Grassfire's "Liberty News" was the first to sound the alarm on what they called "a little-known aspect of ObamaCare - FORCED HOME INSPECTIONS." " Liberty News" strongly criticized this program, which has been designated by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)  in Washington, D.C. as the "Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program" (MIECHVP). 

In essence, "Liberty News" questioned DHHS's motivation for establishing this program stating that it would be used as a means to undercut the rights of American citizens to parent their children as they see fit.  "", another website pooh poohed these concerns stating, "No provision of [ObamaCare] authorizes federal agents to undertake forced home inspections." 

In other words, what "" responded to is the fact that DHHS has billed these home visiting programs as "voluntary." 

But do we believe these protestations that the program is voluntary, particularly after so many of us have dealt with CPS abuse or have been victims of the custody switching scams run by DHHS Fatherhood Initiative and the Access and Visitation Programs? 

At this point, I will stop here and state that I received services from state run home visiting programs for eight years because I have two children who have disabilities.  I had various educators who came to my home and worked on developing skills with the children and advised me on enhancing the children's growth and development. 

Even though it did make me feel nervous to have state workers coming to my house and I certainly worried about my housecleaning in advance of the visits, I have no doubt whatsoever that I and my children benefited greatly from those visits and I am deeply grateful to the government for that valuable assistance.  So I really am a person who can say that my family 100% got so much out of these programs. 

However, does that blind me to how such programs can be abused?  Not in the least! 

Are home visiting programs a new invention of the Obama administration?  No.  The reality is that home visiting programs are not new to the United States.  We had programs like this, privately funded by philanthropic organizations, as far back as the early 1800s.  The early kindergarten movement in the United States, begun in the mid-1800’s, included a home visiting component.  The children would go to school in the morning, and then the teachers would visit their homes in the afternoons.  Again, this was a largely private enterprise.  The home visiting component of the Kindergarten programs ended around the 1930s. 

In the United States, community nursing which involved home visits began in the 1870′s with a handful of nurses relying on funding from private philanthropies.  This kind of public health nursing approach included preventative health care, obstetrics, prenatal care and family education and a form of this program has continued up until the present, eventually receiving government funding. 

The community nursing approach was paralleled in the 1880s by the Settlement Houses where wealthy women went into impoverished communities and raised funds for day nurseries, advocated for the development of branch libraries, kindergartens, and night classes, taught homemaking and child care skills, established homeless shelters, and taught English to new immigrants in urban communities. 

Subsequently, the Great Depression, World War II, and the prosperity of the 1950s interrupted such efforts.  However, in the 1960’s along with the federal “War on Poverty” and initiatives such as Head Start and Home Start, home visiting programs were funded with a focus on social issues such as poverty and teen parenting, and health issues.  These programs were considered very successful, particularly in regard to reducing child abuse, to the extent that by 1991, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse & Neglect recommended that the U.S. implement a universal home visiting program--meaning every family in the U.S. should have home visits.  However, there was no follow up to that recommendation. 

But we all should be nervous when the government starts thinking in this way.  Can you imagine a situation where every home in America receives visits from "nurses, social workers or other health care professionals" in order to check up on what you are doing with your children, to see that you are conforming to the currently accepted philosophies in regard to proper mental health, medical, educational, or religious practices? 

What if you don't choose to adhere to mainstream practices? Will you be reported to a higher authority, scrutinized and targeted as your children mature and enter the public school system or begin to be home schooled?  Where does it end?  If the government institutes a universal home visiting program, which I suppose will be billed as voluntary, what happens if you exercise your choice not to participate?  Will you be subjected to pressure to agree, or will your name be quietly referred to DCF for a visit, after which you become smart enough to participate "voluntarily" in the home visiting program? Just looking in depth at the idea of universal home visiting, the opportunity for abuse appears extensive. 

Home visiting to see whether your parenting techniques are proper is behavior that I more commonly associate with cults.  Now I hear that the federal government even considered such an idea and that a federal advisory board actually recommended it--I am more than amazed.  I am alarmed! 

While the idea of universal home visits didn't gain much traction in the 1990s, in  2008 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R.  3590 and H.R. 4872), designated $1.5 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services for the years 2010 to 2014 to establish a coordinated system of early childhood home visiting that will eventually be established in every state.  Thus DHHS reported that since they obtained this funding, "it has been implemented in 544 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories to serve about 15,000 families. 

While this is by no means a universal program, it is certainly quite extensive, and all indications are that the people who are implementing this program intend it to continue to be so.  As Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., one of the administrators of the program, stated, "This program plays a crucial role in the national effort to build comprehensive statewide early childhood systems for pregnant women, parents and caregivers, and children from birth to 8 years of age -- and, ultimately, to improve health and development outcomes."   

Apparently, "Liberty News" has spoken in what "" considers an alarmist tone with commentary such as the following: 

"the provision of ObamaCare (re: home visits) will provide [home care agents with] broad authority [to] ... clamp down on privacy and violate American rights.  Homeschool your kids?  Smoke a cigar from time to time?  Have a member who was at one time on active duty military?  ObamaCare enables agents to force a home inspection upon you.  And no state will be off limits..." 

In response, "" insists that there is nothing in the legislation establishing these home visiting programs which "authorizes federal or state agents to target and conduct forced inspections." In fact, nothing could be further than the case, insists ""--these programs are required to go out of their way to ensure that the programs are voluntary. 

So what kinds of households are considered to be at risk and eligible for participation in these home visiting programs?

The comprehensive list is as follows:

- Families with Low-income
- Family with pregnant women who have not attained age 21
- Families that have a history of child abuse or neglect or have had interactions with child welfare services
- Families that have a history of substance abuse or need substance abuse treatment
- Families that have users of tobacco products in the home
- Families that are or have children with low student achievement
- Families with children with developmental delays or disabilities
- Families who, or that include individuals who, are serving or formerly served in the Armed Forces, including such families that have members of the Armed Force who have had multiple deployments outside of the United States.

This list includes an extraordinarily broad net that could sweep in quite an extensive number of families.  For instance, how many cigarettes do you have to smoke in order to be considered a tobacco user?  How do you define "low" student achievement?  What is considered an "interaction" with child welfare services? 

I don't believe Connecticut itself has gone overboard with home visiting services.  The birth to three program which I participated in is really geared towards children who have specific disabilities and is not for everyone.  In terms of legislation resulting from the ObamaCare home visiting initiative, the most that the Connecticut Legislature has done is pass Public Act 178 in 2013 which requires that the Office of Early Childhood provide recommendations to improve home visiting services. 

Still, seen in the light of the millions and millions of dollars for the Fatherhood Initiative, and also in the light of the millions and millions of dollars provided for Access and Visitation programs, further millions and millions of dollars for home visits to check and see how mothers are taking care of their children--well, I could be forgiven for finding this massive funding of home visits considerably alarming. 

In fact, I will say that this massive amount of funding--the numbers are quite extraordinary when you start to add them up--simply for the purpose of shaping how family members interact with each other and choose to establish the contexts--medical, religious, educational, relational--in which they live represents one of the most far reaching experiments our society has ever faced in the entire history of the United States.  

The results have already been rolling in as thousands of citizens across the country have accused our government of child trafficking through DCF and of massive judicial court corruption where parents have been denied their constitutional right to parent without cause. More recently, there was the case of West Hartford's Justina Pelletier in which Massachusetts DCF spent an estimated $2 million trying to steal Justina from her parents using false accusations of medical abuse.  

Where is this all heading?  

While "Liberty News" may not have bought into the federal government's propaganda that these home visiting programs will be "purely voluntary", this does not mean that it was entirely inaccurate.  We all need to be very concerned about what is going on here.