Any time it is possible to prevent crime, I embrace the approach.
“After spate of high-profile Spokane child abuse cases, officials say help for stressed parents is available” (April 9 article), highlights the value of voluntary home visiting in reducing child abuse and neglect. When we reduce child abuse and neglect, we cut crime. Research shows that children who experience abuse or neglect are twice as likely to commit a crime by age 19, compared to similar children who have not been abused or neglected. High-quality home visiting can cut child abuse and neglect in half.
Critical federal funding, however, is presently at risk for the program. This fall, the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program that supports our local home visiting programs will require reauthorization by Congress. Without reauthorization, many children will be at higher risk for abuse and neglect and there will be lasting consequences.
I urge Congresswoman McMorris-Rodgers and Sens. Cantwell and Murray to continue support of this impactful program and Washington’s public safety.
Craig Meidl, Chief of Spokane Police Department