The Public Health Agency (PHA) and the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) are delighted to highlight the ongoing success of the first Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme in Northern Ireland.
The first phase of FNP was introduced across the Western Trust area last year, the aim of the programme is to help develop positive mental health and wellbeing in childhood by helping young mothers in the vital first few years of their children’s life.
The programme provides support from early pregnancy until the child is two years old, parents are offered intensive and structured home visiting, delivered by specially trained ‘family nurses’. In doing so the programme hopes to bring about huge benefits such as readiness for school, improved educational achievement and a reduction in anti-social behaviours.
So far the FNP has been warmly received; every parent wants the best for their child and many struggle with the idea that they are not doing the best they can do. This programme helps young parents deal with these common insecurities, it gives them a place to turn if they are struggling or need advice on parenting. The nurses offer advice and encourage best practice methods to healthy lifestyles which will benefit both parents and baby. Parents can be relaxed knowing that with the help, support and guidance from the family nurses they are better equipped for daily life and feel positive that their child is being given the best care.
Emma McCurry, Family Nurse, Western Trust said, “The Family Nurse Partnership programme was made available to mothers aged 19 years or under. To date there are 74 young women receiving this new service, which has proven to be a great success.
Parents receive regular home visits from specially trained nurses that give them direction on personal health, environmental health, and life course development.
As well as ensuring that parents are comfortable and relaxed in caring for their baby the programme also supports other priorities, including breastfeeding, smoking in pregnancy, obesity prevention, reducing inequalities, and supporting relationships. To help make a better life for all involved. “
Eibhlinn McGowan, young mother said: “The Family Nurse Partnership is personal – one to one. You get the advice you need and because you get to know your nurse you feel comfortable enough to ask any questions”.
Contact the PHA Press Office, Ormeau Avenue, on 028 9031 1611 or the Western Trust Press Office, on 028 71611188.
Notes to the editor
Emma McCurry, Family Nurse, Western Trust, Eibhlinn McGowan, young mother and son.
FNP is a voluntary preventive programme for teenage mothers; it was first developed in the US at the University of Colorado.
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPSNI) and the PHA identified and subsequently introduced the FNP programme in Northern Ireland.