One Way We Are Changing Lives for Generations

By Sarah Kerr, RN, BSN
Supervisor, Nurse-Family Partnership

Our Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program at Casa de los Niños is a great source of pride for me as an NFP supervisor.

I have experienced the joy of watching our community’s first-time, sometimes struggling moms, succeed in the NFP program again and again. Nurse-Family Partnership is an evidence-based program that provides services to a first-time mom before her completed 28th week of pregnancy, and continues until her toddler is two years old.

On a national level, Nurse Family Partnership conducted three randomized, controlled trials to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. The evidence from these trials demonstrated that program recipients had decreased incidents of child abuse, juvenile crime, and increased school readiness with the children. In addition, many mothers became economically self-sufficient, employed, and had better pregnancy outcomes.

When a new mom joins the program, an NFP nurse visits the client in her home to identify her “hearts desire” and set goals to achieve these desires. Most of the moms in our program have goals of having a healthy baby, and to be self-sufficient. The NFP nurse partners with the client to achieve these goals during the time in the program.

Some examples of successes that I regularly witness from our first time moms include:

  • high school graduation or obtaining their G.E.D
  • employment
  • they learn to breastfeed
  • exit the cycle of abuse
  • exit the welfare system
  • obtain secondary education
  • learn healthy nutrition and make healthy choices
  • learn to use public transportation
  • utilize libraries
  • read to their babies
  • demonstrate understanding of childhood development
  • demonstrate safe and effective discipline strategies
  • and most importantly they gain competence and confidence as a parent

The Nurse-Family Partnership program often creates a ripple effect that changes the trajectory of generations to come.

I am grateful to the funders that support this important program in our community. Locally, NFP is funded by First Things First and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Bureau of Women’s and Children’s Health (BWCH) from the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV).

Our NFP babies have the best possible start to their lives!

More information about Nurse-Family Partnership can be found on our website.

Showing 2 comments
  • Jim Perry

    One of my favorite columnists wrote last week about the national Nurse-Family Partnership program: “The visits have been studied extensively through randomized controlled trials — the gold standard of evidence — and are stunningly effective… A RAND Corporation study found that each dollar invested in nurse visits to low-income unmarried mothers produced $5.70 in benefits. So here we have an anti-poverty program that is cheap, is backed by rigorous evidence and pays for itself several times over in reduced costs later on. Yet it has funds to serve only 2 percent to 3 percent of needy families. That’s infuriating.” I agree.

  • Sarah Kerr RN NFP

    Thanks so much for your important post. I appreciate that you used the RAND Corp. Quote. It could not be better stated – “an anti-poverty program that is cheap”. I have heard that NFP is expensive, and I beg to differ, how can it be expensive to save money?