This report describes how Tribal Home Visiting Program grantees serve tribal communities that range from rural reservations, to urban areas, to remote Alaska villages. Grantees represent the rich diversity of AIAN populations, their unique cultural contexts, and varied geographic locations and service areas. This report reflects information about the Tribal Home Visiting Program as it has been implemented with FY 2010-2015 funds.
The stories in this collection illustrate the positive impact of home visiting programs provided to American Indian and Alaska Native families by tribal entities across the country. The stories were collected through interviews with families and staff from 14 Tribal MIECHV programs. Home visiting programs focus on helping people be the best parents they can be. Home visitors provide information on prenatal and child development. They offer guidance on parenting skills and strategies. They connect families with the resources they need for food, housing, health, and safety. Home visitors often serve as “first responders” in helping parents identify delays in development and other issues that need to be addressed.
This issue brief—based on interviews with eight Tribal Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (Tribal MIECHV) grantees1— focuses on the ways in which home visiting programs can promote the development of early language and literacy skills, which are important aspects of child development. The brief starts with a short overview of early child development to illustrate how language, literacy, and culture are nested within overall development. It reviews why early language and literacy is important and the need for home visiting programs to be intentional in helping families support children’s language and literacy development. The brief shares examples of how Tribal MIECHV grantees are helping families build upon everyday activities from storytelling to singing, talking, reading, and other strategies. It also highlights
how some grantees are tapping into community resources to extend language and literacy offerings.