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Breaking the Cycle: Home Visiting Can Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect and Prevent Crime in Montana

A Report by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Montana

The over 75 law enforcement and crime survivor members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Montana and the over 5,000 members nationally know that the most powerful weapons we have against crime are the proven programs that help kids get a good start in life. We know that high-quality home visiting can deliver strong crime-fighting results, in part by cutting abuse and neglect, so it is essential to ensure that home visiting funding continues to be supported in Montana and that new federal funding for home visiting is fully utilized. If Montana invests wisely in what works, fewer of our officers and deputies will find themselves carrying children away from abusive or neglectful homes, and fewer Montana residents will become victims of violence. Montana is a model in using the new federal funding to move toward evidence-based programs.

Maintaining state funding, while expanding programs using new federal and private-sector resources, will require a firm commitment on the part of the governor and legislature in these tough fiscal times. It will also require the Montana congressional delegation to protect federal funding for voluntary, evidence-based home visitation services. However, supporting home visiting will prevent suffering from abuse and neglect now, reduce future crime and save taxpayers millions of dollars.28 Breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect is one of the wisest investments Montana and our nation can make for our children and our future.