Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a national evidence-based, home-visiting program with deep roots in Pennsylvania. It is dedicated to supporting women and teens by promoting healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes, improving children’s health and development, and building families’ economic self-sufficiency. Over the last fourteen years, NFP has served close to one thousand pregnant people, and their loved ones in Delaware County.
NFP families are matched with their own free, personal nurse who make regular home visits, starting from early in pregnancy until the baby is two-years-old.
Nurses pay close attention to the physical and mental health of the pregnant parents, ensuring all basic needs are met. The parent is the expert on their life and their child. The nurse is there to provide up-to-date health and wellness information and support parents in making healthy choices. The nurse also educates their clients about pregnancy and parenting and tailor visits to meet parents’ needs. After the baby is born, nurses continue to support and educate parents on their baby’s health and development, attachment and bonding, and positive parenting. The nurses also work with parents to set goals for economic self-sufficiency by encouraging them to develop a vision for their future, continue their education or find work.
NFP is one of the Foundation’s two home-visiting programs, in addition to Healthy Start. These programs work in collaboration with our other public health initiatives to give families the full complement of services and support to thoroughly prepare them for welcoming a new baby and parenting toddlers. When you are enrolled in both programs, Nurse-Family Partnership nurses and Healthy Start case managers are a team, with your nurse emphasizing parenting, and your case manager connecting you to eligible services and benefits.
Research shows that the transformational relationship that develops over the two-years period between nurse and parent boosts the parent’s confidence, improves birth outcomes, and helps to break the cycle of poverty. As NFP continues to grow, proponents say it will play a critical role in preventing infant deaths and preterm births, reducing domestic violence, and mitigating poverty-related youth crime.
In Pennsylvania, NFP has a presence in 49 of the state’s 67 counties, and has provided assistance to more than 35,000 families, exceeding the outcomes of all other 42 states participating in NFP.
The program is widely adopted because it works. In at least one of NFP’s randomized research trials, the following results have been observed:
NFP also saves money. A study by the RAND Corporation found that $5.70 is returned to a community for every dollar it invests in the program.
Families participating in NFP have access to the Medical Legal Partnership (MLP) attorneys if civil legal needs arise and Moving Beyond Depression for eligible women diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.
In 2018, NFP received a grant from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning to extend NFP services to women with Opioid Use Disorder/Substance Use Disorder (OUD/SUD). The program offers regular Parent Cafés for parents impacted in some way by substance use disorder to come together in a safe space. Families do not have to be participants in the NFP program to attend. For information about our next Parent Café series or to register to participate, please reach out to Ursula Watson.