Nurse Family Partnership
Being a first-time mom can be scary. How do I feed my baby? What do I do when the baby cries? Now imagine that you live in poverty and face other challenges including addiction, homelessness or violence in the home. What happens to these moms who get pregnant too young, too poor, too scared, with no healthcare or support?
Each year, 380,000 children are born to first-time mothers living below the federal poverty level each year.* Many of these mothers are young, single, socially isolated and without a high school education. Their children face significant immediate and long-term challenges to leading healthy lives and breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
As Moms who help Moms, our Mothers' Day Movement 2017 beneficiary hits close to home. Not only because we know first-hand how hard it can be to be a first-time mom, but because they are our first US recipient. Nurse-Family Partnership is an extraordinary organization that has nearly five decades of experience in making a difference in the lives of mothers and babies living in poverty right here in the United States, many of whom face seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) helps transform the lives of vulnerable first-time moms and their babies by giving mothers valuable knowledge and support throughout pregnancy and until their babies reach two years of age. The first two years of life are when the seeds of change are fostered. Key health and development interventions during this window have been shown to have a dramatic impact on lifetime health and well-being. Through ongoing home visits from registered nurses, low-income, first-time moms receive the care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy, provide responsible and competent care for their children, and become more economically self-sufficient.
There are currently 32,000 families enrolled across 42 US states, six tribal nations and the US Virgin Islands. NFP has 1,859 Nurse Home Visitors working to form a much-needed, trusted relationship with first-time moms—instilling confidence and empowering them to achieve a better life for their children, and themselves.
An evaluation conducted by economist Ted Miller, and published in the Journal of Prevention Science in 2015, found that every $1 invested in Nurse-Family Partnership can yield up to $5.70 in cost savings due to the positive impacts of the program, including fewer pre-term births, greater economic self-sufficiency, and less interaction with the criminal justice system.
NFP FAMILIES & Challenges
Amanda — A Mom at 19, Amanda wasn’t sure how to protect herself and her newborn son from the choke hold of her abusive boyfriend; not until NFP was able to help her find a way out of this situation.
Jessika — When Jessika got pregnant, her friends doubted she could be a good Mom. She was a recovering heroin addict. She had the support of her family, but they knew she was going to need a lot of help.
Sam — After calling off her engagement, Sam realized she would need help with the baby that was soon to arrive in her life. But she needed more help than even she realized when baby Izobel’s kidneys required three surgeries. Her nurse was there to support and guide her through this trying and complex time.
Kim — Her Nurse Home Visitor raised a red flag when Kim’s blood pressure spiked during pregnancy. It was preeclampsia. She was just learning how to be a mother, but now had to be ready when he arrived two months early.
WHAT WE CAN DO
You can donate to the Mothers' Day Movement's campaign for Nurse-Family Partnership. We need your help to increase the reach to eligible families in need beyond the 2-3% NFP is currently able to help. There is so much more we can do.
The cost of the NFP program varies depending on the location. For example, for 1,000 days of NFP nurse services in South Carolina, the cost is estimated at $6,000 per family, compared to $9,600 per family in New York City. But the cost seems negligible when you consider that a small investment in the lives of these families today reduces the future burden to the community. Just take a look at the staggering statistics.
Nurse-Family Partnership effects a:
- 48% reduction in child abuse and neglect
- 59% reduction in arrests among children at age 15
- 72% fewer convictions of mothers
- 56% reduction in emergency room visits for accidents and poisonings
- 67% reduction in behavioral and intellectual problems at child age six
a smart investment
“If communities are truly interested in making sound investments that will yield high public and private gains in both the long and short run, they would fare far better by investing in evidence-based, early child development initiatives like Nurse-Family Partnership than in professional sports stadiums or office towers.”
- ROB GRUNEWALD Associate Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
*US Census Bureau, American Community Survey (2014), Retrieved July 2016 from Kids Count Data Center website, http://datacenter.kidscount.org.