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Wednesday 26th June 2019

Innovative programme to help young parents

6th January 2011

A new report on a service for vulnerable young first-time mothers has showed that it can make a real difference to disadvantaged families.


The independent evaluation report on the Family Nurse Partnerships programme has revealed good potential for it to improve the life chances of some of the most disadvantaged families.

The initiative offers intensive and structured home visiting, delivered by specially trained nurses, from early pregnancy until a child is two.

The evaluation, carried out by Birkbeck College, University of London, builds on two earlier reports that pointed to positive potential impacts on breastfeeding and reduced smoking in pregnancy.

The third review found that mothers are very positive about their parenting capacity and report high levels of warm parenting; mothers have significantly increased ‘mastery’, a form of self esteem, which is linked to increased confidence and higher aspirations for themselves and their children; children develop in line with age group norms.

The programme is based on a successful evidence-based model run in the United States and has been tested since 2007. It complements and supports the work of health visitors.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “These new findings show the potential for Family Nurse Partnerships to improve the life chances of our most disadvantaged families. Every child deserves the best start in life. Pregnancy and the first years of life have a long lasting impact on a child’s future health, relationships and happiness.”

In October, Mr Lansley announced that he would double the number of places for families to benefit from the programme by 2015.


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