Author Affiliation

Department of Social Work, Minnesota State Univerity, Mankato

Document Type

Policy Advocacy Brief

Publication Date


Issue Statement/Executive Summary

Currently, there is no consistent, universal screening process within the United States healthcare system that considers the mental health of a new mother. Mandatory screening for perinatal depressive symptoms would improve the lives of new mothers, children, and their families nationwide. Home-visiting programs, such as the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program supported by Healthy Families America, should be universal and available in every locale in the U.S. Individual state policies within these programs should be tailored to meet the needs of each unique mother, child, and family. Early, nurturing relationships are critical to a child's development. Caring for the mother's well-being is the first step in ensuring a successful life trajectory for children. The Healthy Families America strategy focuses on promoting positive parent-child relationships and healthy attachment by using strengths-based and person-centered approaches.


Social Work



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