Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- This strategy can help promote healthy childhood environments and address social determinants of health. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve these outcomes are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
- Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
Improving outcomes for families: Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a community-based health program that pairs parent(s) with a specially-trained nurse for regular home visits. These visits begin early in the family’s pregnancy and continue until the child’s second birthday. By providing regular support to expecting parents and young families, NFP programs can improve the health and wellbeing of children and family functioning.
Building parents’ skills: Parents enrolled in a NFP program receive home visits from a nurse one or two times per month. During these visits, nurses teach positive health behaviors, strategies to care for children, and personal development skills (e.g., nutrition). Nurses work to develop a strong relationship with parents, so they can serve as a trusted resource during pregnancy and the child’s infancy.
Targeted toward those with fewer resources: Eligibility requirements vary across NFP programs. Often, programs target families that may have fewer resources to support a healthy pregnancy and a child’s early development. This may include first-time parents, and those who are low-income, unmarried, and/or teenagers. So they can provide individualized support, nurses retain a caseload of between 25 and 30 families at a time.
Taking a collaborative approach: NFP programs may be run by a variety of public or private organizations focused on improving public health. These commonly include city or county Departments of Health, public or non-profit healthcare systems, schools of nursing, and more. Regardless of a NFP program’s institutional home, it typically involves close collaboration between these and other actors.
- Cost per Participant
Variable; ranges from $6,000-$10,000 per family
Multiple studies with rigorous designs demonstrate that the Nurse-Family Partnership model is a well-supported strategy for reducing risky health behaviors and child maltreatment and improving family functioning and child wellbeing.
- This assessment is based on evidence from a 2020 systematic review.
Select a strong program sponsor: Starting and administering a Nurse-Family Partnership program requires a range of specialized skills, including healthcare administration, data collection and evaluation, program management, fundraising, and more.
Invest in recruitment: In order to identify families most in need of support services, NFP programs should develop a strong referral network. Common referral partners include community health clinics, school districts, public housing agencies, and social service agencies.
Access national-level assistance: The National Service Office for Nurse-Family Partnership & Child First provides local, affiliated NFP programs with training and technical assistance. Local programs can access this assistance to improve their data and evaluation practices, among other key functions.
Plan for continuous improvement: Effective NFP programs integrate data collection and evaluation into their regular operations. This allows programs to ensure fidelity to the program model and to identify opportunities to better meet the needs of program participants.