The Nurse-Family Partnership is a nationally recognized, evidence-based, home visitation program operated by the Monroe County Department of Public Health that improves the health, well-being, and self-sufficiency of low-income, first-time parents and their children.
How Does Nurse-Family Partnership Work?
Since the inception of the program in July 2006, UR Medicine Home Care has been serving as the exclusive staffing agency providing nursing service. The Nurse-Family Partnership currently serves more than 240 local families. The program was developed by Dr. David Olds and Dr. Harriet Kitzman at the University of Rochester in the 1970’s after testing a model for nurse home visits to a rural community in Elmira, NY. Since then, the program has been rigorously tested through a series of randomized control trials in Elmira, Memphis and Denver with very impressive outcomes. The program is now in 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Home visits by specially trained registered nurses are the distinguishing feature of the Nurse-Family Partnership. Nurses visit clients on a weekly to bi-weekly basis beginning early in pregnancy and continuing until the child is two years old. Eligibility criteria requires that the mother is preparing to parent her first baby, is not more than 28 weeks gestation and is low-income based on federal poverty guidelines. The population falls mostly within Rochester’s high-risk areas, but there is no geographical limit for eligibility in Monroe County. The program is focused around achieving three goals:
- Improved pregnancy outcomes
- Improved child health and development
- Improved maternal life course development
What Services Do You Provide?
Under the direction of the Monroe County Department of Public Health, URMHC nurses monitor the health and well-being of the pregnant woman and the child after birth. They also provide an interactive parent-child education curriculum that focuses on helping parents to develop skills in emotionally connecting with their child. They also use motivational interviewing to help clients clarify their goals, develop problem-solving skills, and move toward increased self-sufficiency.
Nationally the program has demonstrated a positive impact and the ability to meet each of the major goals listed above. Specifically, this included:
- Improved prenatal health
- Fewer childhood injuries
- Fewer subsequent pregnancies and healthy spacing of pregnancies
- Increased maternal employment
- Improved school readiness
What Kind Of Outcomes Can I Expect?
Outcomes for parents from the Nurse-Family Partnership nationally have demonstrated:
- 31% fewer closely spaced (under 6 months) subsequent pregnancies
- 35% fewer cases of pregnancy-induced hypertension
- 50% reduction in language delays by child age 21 months
- 56% reduction in emergency room visits for accidents and poisonings in the second year of the child’s life
- 48% reduction in state-verified reports of child abuse and neglect by age 15
- 59% reduction in arrests by child age 15
Any woman who is pregnant with her first child and meets income requirements can enroll. Women can join as early in their pregnancy as they like, but they must join before the 28th week of pregnancy. There is no charge for this program.
For more information, call the Monroe County Department of Public Health at 585-753-BABY (753-2229). To read more about the Nurse-Family Partnership program, visit the Nurse-Family Partnership website.