Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Michigan, a statewide, non-profit, crime prevention organization led by more than 500 of Michigan’s police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and crime survivors, honored State Representative Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford) with Fight Crime’s prestigious 2011 “Crime Fighter Award” during a presentation at the State Capitol late last month.
Kathy Pelleran, state director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Michigan said, “We are pleased to convey the 2011 “Crime Fighter Award” to Representative MacGregor for his outstanding leadership for children, youth and families.”
Pelleran added, “In his role as the vice chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of Community Health Budget, Rep. MacGregor led the effort to ensure funding for voluntary home visiting, parent-education programs aimed to improve family functioning. Evidence-based home visiting programs are critical to help prevent children from being abused, neglected, and becoming delinquent. Law enforcement leaders know that such quality home visiting programs are one of the best tools to fight crime.”
In Michigan, in 2010, there were more than 32,000 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect. Nationally, the best estimate of the real number of children abused or neglected each year is closer to three times the official figure, so the true number of Michigan children abused, neglected or even killed is likely to be much higher.
Kent County operates several home visiting programs that regularly work with first time parents to assess the health of the baby and mother, share information about parenting and the child’s health and development, and offer referrals to other community services.
First Steps offers the Welcome Home Baby program to all first-time parents and parents 25 and younger. There is no cost to families who choose to participate in the program. Another home visiting model, the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) provides intensive home-based services to first-time, low-income pregnant women for their babies prenatally through age 2. In addition to fostering healthier pregnancies, NFP also encourages self-sufficiency through planning for future pregnancies, continuing education, and securing employment.