What is Nurse-Family Partnership?
Nurse-Family Partnership is a free program where first-time, low-income mothers are partnered with a nurse who visits them in their home starting in pregnancy until the baby’s second birthday.
Nicole Graham, a Nurse-Home Visitor for Nurse-Family Partnership in Utah County, said the program has the potential to impact families in the community for generations.
“By focusing on empowering the mom, the entire family benefits,” Nicole said.
How long does the program last?
Questions regarding your baby don’t stop once he’s born, so the program makes sure you have a strong network of support before and after you give birth. Nurse-Family Partnership lasts for 2.5 years.
“Throughout the 2.5 years she will be in the program, she will have many important decisions to make such as taking care of her health, the type of parent she wants to be and how she would like to provide for her family,” Nicole said. “As nurses, we are able to connect her to additional resources in the community to help her achieve her dreams and goals.”
How will this help me and my baby?
Nicole said families who participate in Nurse-Family Partnership have lower rates of emergency visits and spend less time on welfare. She also said their children have higher reading and math scores by age nine compared to families who do not participate in the program.
A personal nurse will help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby, become a better parent and build a strong network of support for you and your baby. The nurse will also make sure your home is a safe place to live and play, find ways to continue your education and develop job skills, get referrals for healthcare and support services in the community, set meaningful goals for your family’s future and find ways to help you reach them.
“The most valuable part of the program for the mom is that she has someone there as a constant guide and support during a period of great change in her life,” Nicole said.
How often will my nurse visit?
Because your nurse wants to make sure you have both the support and answers you need, they will visit you at home every week or two. The schedule is flexible for visiting times, so you and your nurse will decide the exact schedule together.
Nicole said program visits are always directed by the mother and what she wants to learn about. The nurses are devoted to making sure you have the resources and knowledge to be the best parent you can be.
Has the program worked for others?
Although this program is new to Utah County, it has been in Utah for over eight years in Salt Lake City. The program has also existed nationally for nearly 40 years in over 40 states.
Nicole said since the program launched in Utah County three months ago they have helped women find housing, enroll in Women, Infants and Children (WIC), find prenatal providers, apply for jobs and cope with miscarriages. They’ve even been able to provide a four week Lamaze class for their clients.
“We have been getting great feedback and engagement from our moms in the program and are excited to have the opportunity to see their successes,” Nicole said.
Research shows that Nurse-Family Partnership has consistently had a positive effect on the baby. To read more about the proven results of the program you can visit the Nurse-Family Partnership site at http://www.nursefamilypartnership.org/proven-results.
Who can enroll in the program?
Any woman who is less than 28 weeks pregnant with her first child and meets the income requirements can enroll in Nurse-Family Partnership. If you or someone you know is pregnant with their first child, you can contact the Utah County Health Department at (801) 851-7053.