First developed in the USA over 30 years ago, Family Nurse Partnerships are now being rolled out here in Northern Ireland.
The Partnerships, aim to improve the health and wellbeing of our most disadvantaged children and families, thus preventing social exclusion.
Supported by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Public Health Agency, Family Nurse Partnerships have proven to improve health, wellbeing and self-sufficiency of first time young parents aged 19 and under and their children.
Once a young mum has been accepted to the programme, a family nurse then visits her and her family from early pregnancy until the child’s second birthday, taking them through a range of activities and supporting them with the many issues that families can face such as; personal health, environmental health, life course development, maternal role, family and friends, and health and human services.
The programme also supports other priority areas such as breastfeeding, smoking in pregnancy, obesity prevention, reducing inequalities, and supporting relationships.
The programme is now provided in each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts across Northern Ireland with 437 young mums involved to date.
Young Mums Graduate in the South
The first set of young mums to take part in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust’s Family Nurse Partnership Programme have recently graduated.
Twenty six first time mothers, who signed up to the programme in early 2013, are now celebrating the milestone of their babies’ second birthdays.
Congratulating the graduates, Roberta Brownlee, Chair of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “Being a parent is of course so rewarding but, as all of us mums and dads know, it isn’t always easy. We all want the best for our children and sometimes we can worry that we aren’t doing our best.
“So we were delighted to have a team of Family Nurses to support our young mums to help give their babies the best start in life, giving young parents help with dealing with the many common insecurities and a place to turn to if they need advice.
“Family Nurse Partnership is a great example of how, through early intervention, we can focus on the future health and wellbeing of child and mother, and have a positive influence on the long term outlook for families.
“We are extremely proud our young parents – all of their beautiful babies and toddlers are a true credit to them. We wish them all the very best and look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.”
Deirdre Webb, Regional Children’s Services Nurse at the Public Health Agency , said: “It is a wonderful occasion for these mums who have become the first to complete this programme in the Southern area. The initiative provides support to parents from early pregnancy until the child is two years old, with home visits from specially-trained ‘family nurses’. The aim is to bring about benefits such as readiness for school, improved educational achievement and reduced possibility of developing anti-social behaviour.”
How to apply
Applications to Family Nurse Partnerships should be made as early as possible in pregnancy (up to 28 weeks). Applications can be received from anyone – any health and social care professional, teachers, a family member or you can self-refer.
For further information on the FNP in the Southern Trust contact:
For further information on the FNP in the Belfast Trust contact:
For further information on the FNP in the Western Trust contact:
For further information on the FNP in the Northern Trust contact:
For further information on the FNP in the South Eastern Trust contact: