Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Family nurse partnerships working.

Download PDFDownload PDF


07 July 2008


The Family Nurse Partnership programme is helping to improve the life chances of vulnerable babies, young children and their families, according to a new independent evaluation report. The Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department of Health, started piloting the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) in ten areas in England in April 2007. Family nurses provide intensive home visiting for vulnerable first time young parents, working with them from early pregnancy until the child is two years old. The nurses build close, supportive relationships with families and guide young first-time parents so that they adopt healthier lifestyles for themselves and their babies, provide good care for their babies and plan their future life goals. The main findings of the evaluation show that: • the programme is widely welcomed by hard to reach families and reaches clients who are likely to benefit most. Enrolment was higher for under 20s (88%) than 20 to 23 year olds (81%); • clients value the programme. On a scale from one to ten, clients average rating of the difference that the FNP was making to them was eight; • clients had very high regard for their family nurses; • engagement with fathers was good. Almost half the fathers and partners had been present for at least one FNP visit; • the programme has the enthusiastic support of the nurses who are seeing changes take place in health behaviour, relationships, parental role and maternal well-being; • there are early signs that clients now have aspirations for the future and cope better with pregnancy, labour and parenthood. Children’s Minister Beverly Hughes said: “I welcome these early findings which show that the programme is proving to be popular and is highly valued by some of these vulnerable parents. I am pleased to see that the programme is giving these young mothers and fathers a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop crucial skills so that they can give their children the best start in life. The research shows that this alternative way of working by family nurses is making a real difference to the lives of young parents. We now want to build on these early findings to ensure that the FNP is delivered effectively in the future.” Anne Keen Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health said: “I am very pleased that the first year evaluation report shows that the Family Nurse Partnership programme can be delivered well in this country. Every parent wants to do their best for their child but some need more help than others to get there. This programme is at the heart of our policy for improving the life chances of the most vulnerable children and their families and these early findings are promising. I pay tribute to the hard work of the nurses and the families who have participated in the first year of the programme.” A Family Nurse said: “I applied for my post as a Family Nurse after reading about its success in the United States. At first I thought it sounded too good to be true. Here was a long standing, tried and tested programme that seemed to have a long lasting positive affect on peoples lives. “It is very different from my previous role as a health visitor. We work closely with the parents

from early pregnancy so that by the time they have their babies we have travelled a long way together. We place particular emphasis on working with fathers and I have found that they are pleased to be included, and want to learn as much as they can and be very hands on in their children’s upbringing.”

Editor's Notes This press notice relates to 'England'

1. The Family Nurse Partnership is a joint Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families project, originally announced as part of the Cabinet Office’s publication, ‘Reaching Out: An Action Plan on Social Exclusion’. It is a licenced programme with an extensive evidence base, and has been developed over 30 years in the USA by Professor David Olds at the University of Colorado.

2. Ten existing sites in England are currently delivering the programme within the context of universal child health services and local Children's Centres. The model encourages families to make active use of local community resources and to involve themselves in activities such as parenting groups and educational activities. The ten sites are: Slough; Somerset; Tower Hamlets; Southwark; Southend; Derby; Barnsley; County Durham and Darlington; Walsall and Manchester. 3. £30m funding to expand the Family Nurse Partnership was announced last October, as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review. Beverley Hughes and Ann Keen announced on 17 March a further 20 sites which will start to deliver and test the programme during 08-09.

The 20 new sites are Birmingham, Blackpool, Calderdale, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Coventry, Cumbria, Hastings and Rother, Hull, Islington, Lambeth, Leeds, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire, North East Lincolnshire, Nottingham City, Plymouth, Southampton, Stockport, Sunderland. 4. Delivery of the Family Nurse Partnership programme in the first ten sites in England is being evaluated by the University of London, Birkbeck, over two years. 5. The first year implementation of the Nurse-family Partnership programme in England in ten pilot sites:Pregnancy and the postpartum period ( April 2008) can be found -

Contact Details Public Enquiries 0870 000 2288,

Press Notice 2008/0140