Standing with state leaders, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina Pamela Evette affirmed the state’s commitment to maternal health and early childhood development by voicing support for home visiting programs that serve South Carolina mothers and babies. On Wednesday, Feb. 7, Children’s Trust hosted a news conference at the S.C. State House to support Governor McMaster’s executive budget request for maternal and infant mortality programs.

Lt. Governor Evette voices support for home visiting programs that serve South Carolina mothers and babies.

Speaking with Lt. Governor Evette was Senator Mike Reichenbach, Senator Katrina Shealy, Jhayiah Robinson, a mom who has benefited from home visiting services, and Sue Williams, Children’s Trust CEO.

After returning from a Parents as Teachers’ home visit with a mom and her child earlier that day, the Lt. Governor advocated for expanding home visiting programs throughout the state.

“I have seen first-hand the invaluable work being done by Children’s Trust home visiting programs in our state,” said Lt. Governor Evette. “By offering guidance and support directly within the families’ homes, these programs empower parents and caregivers with the tools and resources they need to provide the best possible start in life for their children.”

South Carolina senators Mike Reichenbach and Katrina Shealy also spoke at the event to support expanding home visiting services in the state.

“Home visiting is an important service provided to vulnerable and at-risk mothers and their babies. Home visiting meets mothers where they are, in their homes,” said Senator Shealy.

Jhayiah Robinson, a mom who participated in a home visiting program during her pregnancy until her son, Zaire, turned two years old, attested to the success of home visiting programs by sharing how the program and her nurse helped guide her path to parenthood.

Jhayiah Robinson, a mom who has benefited from home visiting services, Sue Williams, Children’s Trust CEO, Lt. Governor Evette, Senator Katrina Shealy, and Senator Mike Reichenbach

Pictured from left to right: Jhayiah Robinson, Sue Williams, Lt. Governor Evette, Senator Katrina Shealy and Senator Mike Reichenbach

“She taught me about the journey of my pregnancy, where I was along the way, what to expect, how to speak up for myself at doctor’s visits, and getting the best of the services I could from my providers,” says Robinson.

Less than 10 percent of eligible families in South Carolina currently receive voluntary home visiting services. South Carolina can serve more families through a state financial investment that would be matched 3-to-1 by the federal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting grant.

Sue Williams, Children’s Trust CEO, explained how home visiting programs positively impact families and communities across the state. Home visiting programs assist parents with “things like learning positive parenting skills, helping a family become self-sufficient and reduce government assistance and support. It also lowers crime rates and reduces the strain on law enforcement and DSS because we’re preventing abuse and neglect.”

“Investing in early childhood development is one of the most effective ways to build a brighter future for our state,” said Williams. “By supporting home visiting programs, we are investing in the well-being of our children and the strength of our communities.” 

Learn more about home visiting in South Carolina.