“Working Together to Ensure Healthier Families.” Every year 600,000 children are born to first-time mothers who are from low-income households. I’m here today to talk with you about a unique community health program, Nurse-Family Partnership, that has been developed specifically to transform the lives of these first-time mothers and their children. These are tough times and we are all facing hard choices. As a result, we are all looking to invest in programs that work. I’m proud to say that Nurse-Family Partnership works - more than 30 years of randomized controlled clinical trials prove that it works, and a number of independent studies also show that the program can more than pay for itself.
Nurse-Family Partnership knows that women who are pregnant for the first time and living in deep poverty experience a kind of vulnerability that can be overwhelming. It’s a time when women are receptive to the care of a nurse whose only agenda is to make sure each participant discovers within herself the determination and capability to build a life for herself and her child that is healthy, stable, and full of greater opportunities than she has known to this point in her life. In South Carolina… our partners here have estimated that there are over 10,000 women living in poverty who give birth to their first child in a year’s time (2007 data). Poverty alone is associated with a host of other risks to health and economic well-being; and our founder wanted to design Nurse-Family Partnership to attend skillfully to those risks that conspire most powerfully to entrap families in inter-generational poverty, risks for chronic disease, injuries and maltreatment, violence and substance abuse, educational failure and welfare dependence. He knew that in order for NFP to make sense to families living in the most dire circumstances possible, we would have to be prepared to face all of what stands in the way of a healthy developmental trajectory. And that is exactly what we do.
Well-Designed Programs: Relevant and appealing to those it will serve Based in the best evidence available about what works to produce desired change – clear logic Clear connection between what staff do, and what actually helps those served make changes Simple, built-in evaluation
Home visits focus on six core areas beginning with the mother’s personal health and the maternal role. Nurses also work with mothers on issues that can affect their development and their child including environmental health issues and the influence of family and friends. Life course development focuses on the mother’s future, and nurses also help their clients navigate the health and human services system to take advantage of resources that can benefit both mother and child.
Why bother evaluating programs? What we think should work, doesn’t always actually work What works in one context won’t automatically work elsewhere Failures can be highly informative if you pay attention Evaluation fosters discipline and better programs
A study conducted by the Washington State Institute of Public Policy estimated a return on investment of $18,000 for each family enrolled, and a 1998 study by the Rand Corporation found that savings accrue in areas such as health care delivery, child protection, education, criminal justice, mental health and welfare and public assistance. In addition, communities also realize a benefit through increased taxes paid by employed parents.
Nurse-Family Partnership has grown from its initial research study locations in NY, TN, and CO to become a national program currently operating in 31 states, and a total of 378 counties. We are optimistic that a portion of federal funds available through health care reform will help communities serve as many as an additional 40,000 women over the next five years. One of the most important keys to that success will be the influence of our champions in the private sector who can encourage state and community leaders to consider NFP as a programmatic option well-suited to the legislation that created this funding opportunity. Indeed, it is our partnership with BCBS-SC that has helped teach us just how many ways the private sector can help keep NFP true to its mission, strong in its implementation, and growing.
Our national service headquarters exists to make sure that every one of our state and local partners (public and private) succeeds with the implementation of Nurse-Family Partnership – and achieves the improvements in the health of women and children that were seen in the scientific studies that demonstrated the program’s effectiveness. From up-front planning, nursing practice development, QI efforts and policy advocacy – we are here to make sure NFP is conducted properly and is sustainable for the long term. Local programs are funded now from close to 20 different sources, public and private – but I will tell you that private funding – from individuals and foundations, is often what leverages attention to EBPs, additional and sustainable funding, and the needed commitment from people of influence to keep programs going that are actually making a difference.
Little girls like Harmony, and her parents, are full of everything worth hoping for in our world today. I’ve given you a lot of information, a snapshot of what you are making possible in South Carolina, and yet if I didn’t give you a glimpse of the way in which you are touching the lives of the people of South Carolina, I would not be doing your contributions justice. I’m going to show you a very short video that was done by the NFP nurses at the YWCA in Dallas, TX. Just know that their stories, with a little different accent, are the stories of families in Columbia and Anderson and Greenville and Conway. Please… give them your attention now… [run 6 minute video] …………………………………. Each year 400,000 women living in deep poverty in our country give birth to their first child… We want each one of them to have a Nurse-Family Partnership nurse home visitor. Breaking cycles, empowering parents, making children healthy THANK YOU, for your commitment to the health and future of South Carolina’s children.
Thank you for your time today – I welcome the chance to answer any questions you may have.
Nurse-Family Partnership: Working Together for Healthier Families
Working Together for Healthier Families
Nurse-Family Partnership Overview