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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Personal nurses for teen mums

2nd May 2007

A new initiative will give pregnant teenagers personal nurses to help them manage until their baby reaches the age of two.


In an exercise which is designed to lessen benefits bills, unmarried expectant mothers from deprived areas with high pregnancy rates will be given personal NHS nurses. The initial phase of the initiative will cost £7.5 million, and is intended to avert child delinquency and problems involving anti-social families.

The project, managed by local authorities, is an attempt to tackle the country's teenage pregnancy problem. Ten areas, including Southwark and Tower Hamlets, will be a focus for the initiative, which begins in May.

Government figures indicate that problem families can each cost taxpayers in the range of £55,000 and £115,000 a year. The initiative is based on a similar American scheme, which demonstrated significant benefits and long-term results.

Nurses will make weekly visits to the expectant mothers in order to advise them about exercise, diet and parenting skills. The visits will begin when they are between 16 and 28 weeks pregnant and end when their child reaches the age of two.

The Department for Education and Skills states it will " rigorously evaluate" the results of the trial before making a decision about whether the scheme should be extended.

Families minister-Beverley Hughes said: "The Government is committed to ensuring every child can achieve their full potential. Parents are the single most significant factor that determines their child's success. This is why we are making an additional £7.5 million available to local authorities between now and March next year."

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