The Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), headquartered in Denver, has helped low-income, first-time mothers make the transition into parenthood for more than 30 years. Today, the program established by David Olds, PhD, boasts a network of offices in 28 states. The NFP currently supports more than 16,000 families through home visits by more than 1,000 nurses armed with experience, resources and a passion for the influence they have on their clients' lives.
Though the primary goals are healthy pregnancies, improved child health and development and enhanced self-sufficiency for the mothers, the program has a far-reaching effect on the families and their communities. The empirical success of the NFP, demonstrated by research showing a $5 return for every dollar invested in the partnership, most recently garnered national attention with a mention in President Barack Obama's agenda relating to the issues of family, poverty and urban policy.
From National to Local
To the nurses and their clients, the worth of the NFP lies not in the balance sheets, but in the empowerment achieved and successes shared among the individuals involved.
For the mothers, the evidence-based approach means continuous support through the tumult of pregnancy and early childhood. For nurses, the program is an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of women, children, families and the community through a bond based on trust and shared wisdom.
In all of the communities it serves nationwide, the NFP employs a three-pronged system to support women:
- education during pregnancy about prenatal health and nutrition as well as preparation for labor and delivery;
- infant care, including feeding, safety and early growth and development; and
- ongoing support in caring for a toddler including developmental benchmarks.
The nurses' support continues through the first 2 years of a child's life, delivering education and encouragement that serves the entire family through the transition.