A federally funded “home visiting” program advises service providers to watch for signs of abuse against “gender-diverse children,” citing parents who deny their young child the “right” to cross-dress as an example, a document shows.
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program is intended to combat abuse and neglect while promoting “positive parenting” and school readiness among “pregnant people and families” with young children who are at-risk for “poor maternal and child health outcomes,” according to its website. The guidance offered to government workers who visit homes at the request of families categorizes steering a child away from “gender expression” that does not correspond with his or her biological sex as abuse.
One document titled “Parental Acceptance of Gender Expression in Young Children” tells home visitors it is important for them to “recognize and address the abuse and neglect that may result, either directly or indirectly, from rejection of a child’s gender expression.”
“Gender-diverse children are frequently the targets of violence or harm — by other children, caregivers, or family members,” the document states.
Abuse need not be “overt,” it explains, but can look like “denying a child the right to play, dress, and act as they would like.”
“Home visitors are uniquely positioned to support family acceptance of children’s gender expression,” the document instructs. “Home visiting, at its core, is dedicated to building strong parent-child bonds in all families. Acceptance of gender expression is key to forging and maintaining these bonds.”
The document further claims that accepting a child’s gender expression can “protect against depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal attempts.” However, studies have cast doubt on the idea that affirming a child’s gender identity leads to better mental health outcomes.
Doctors have also expressed concerns that statistics about transgender suicide rates are not only inflated, but that activists’ frequent focus on the numbers may actually drive children with gender identity issues to suicide by creating a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”
“It is insane to vilify parents simply for wanting their gender-confused children to feel comfortable in their own bodies,” American Principles Project president Terry Schilling told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “If anyone is guilty of abuse, it is the gender ideologues who feed kids the pernicious lie that they can somehow change their sex, setting them on a pathway to destructive body modifications.”
The program is run by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), which is part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a subagency of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It awards grants to states that carry out approved “home visiting” programs for at-risk “pregnant people and families” with young children.
An HRSA spokesperson told the DCNF that programs report suspected child abuse “consistent with relevant federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies.”
“Home visitors support parents and caregivers by providing information and guidance on a wide range of topics intended to promote child well-being, including safe sleep practices, injury prevention, and nutrition,” the spokesperson said. “Home visitors also conduct screenings for caregivers and provide referrals to address postpartum depression, substance use, and family violence, and other risk factors associated with child maltreatment.”
The agency awarded $434,721,579 in 2023 to home visitors in 50 states and six territories in fiscal year 2023, according to its website. The program provided over 840,000 home visits in fiscal year 2022, according to a report.
The agency said resources like the “Parental Acceptance of Gender Expression in Young Children” document are “developed to provide background information, research and data, and strategies for program recipients to support improved health and development for all children served by MIECHV programs.”
Schilling said this is “just the latest chilling example of the Biden administration’s war on families.”
“We are rapidly headed down a road where every parent in this country who opposes the transgender agenda risks losing custody of their kids,” he told the DCNF. “The grave threat to families posed by this administration cannot be ignored. Pro-family Americans must fight it at every turn: in Congress and the state legislatures, in the courts, and most importantly, at the ballot box next year.”
A recent rule proposal by the Biden administration’s HHS would transfer children out of foster families that do not affirm their “gender identity,” excluding families with religious objections from their definition of a “safe and appropriate placement” for LGBT youth.
Under the rule, foster care agencies “must not place LGBTQI+ identifying children with a provider who unreasonably limits or denies a child’s ability to express their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
“For example, to be considered a safe and appropriate placement, a provider is expected to utilize the child’s identified pronouns, chosen name, and allow the child to dress in an age-appropriate manner that the child believes reflects their self-identified gender identity and expression,” the rule continues.
EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.