The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a nurse home visiting program for vulnerable, first-time mothers, their infants, and their families. The program helps families improve maternal and child health, build a secure and nurturing relationship between parent and child, and reach education and employment goals. NFP is a nationally replicated program with sites throughout the United States, and is administered locally by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH). In July 2011, NFP will have the capacity to serve approximately 2,520 families in New York City, providing services in all five boroughs. NFP stresses the importance of family and friend support in order to promote healthy and enriched lives for both mother and child.
Fathers/partners are a particularly important source of support, and NFP actively encourages their inclusion in all phases of the program. NFP curriculum focuses on male involvement and its content for fathers parallels many of the lessons mothers learn during home visits, such as promoting physical health, describing the baby’s growth during pregnancy, learning what happens during childbirth, recognizing child development and typical milestones, and building healthy parent-child relationships. The program also encourages fathers to set their own life-course goals and to work with their partners to make family planning and pregnancy spacing decisions. Studies evaluating NFP have shown its fathers/partners to have higher levels of involvement and support as compared to similar non-NFP fathers/partners. An NFP trial in Memphis, Tennessee, found a 46 percent increase in the presence of the children’s fathers in NFP households three years after the program had ended.
In New York City, NFP is partnering with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to make its Fatherhood Initiative programs available to NFP fathers. This inter-agency collaboration helps increase awareness of the services both programs provide, enabling them to reach more families across the city.
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Visit the Nurse-Family Partnership website.