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Michigan awards grants to help 'at-risk' mothers

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The state has announced $7.9 million dollars in federal grant money will go to support Michigan’s Home Visiting Initiative.

The Michigan Home Visiting Initiative works with families struggling with issues like poverty, child maltreatment, and domestic violence.

Bob Wheaton is the spokesman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He said the goal is to help children grow in a safe environment.

“So the idea is to have these home visiting services in these communities to build the community and build the families up to better care for their children and to improve health and safety outcomes for these young children,” Wheaton said. 

Wheaton said about 34,000 families in ten counties will benefit from the program. Kent, Genesee, and Saginaw are among the counties receiving funding.

Wheaton said at-risk families often face challenges such as substance abuse, domestic violence, poverty, and poor school outcomes.  

“The visit result in the professionals being able to talk to the families, connect them to nurture support, coaching, educating, offering encouragement to them.”  

Home Visit program grants will run until September 2019.