Guilford Legislative Delegation Meets to Discuss Home-Visiting Program
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Today Guilford County legislators and Guilford Child Development Executive Director C. Robin Britt hosted a roundtable event to discuss how Nurse-Family Partnership children in the community and across the state. NFP is a nationally recognized, evidence-based nurse home visitation program currently operating in 10 North Carolina counties, including Guilford. First implemented in 2000,Guilford County has the longest running site in North Carolina.
“I am proud of the impact our site has made on the community during the last 10 years, as well as the hard work of our nurses that makes it all possible,” said Britt. “This program not only benefits the families we serve, but our entire community. As a member of the Nurse-Family Partnership National Board, I can attest to the fact that NFP is changing lives across the country.”
During the roundtable, participants heard program updates from NFP National Service Office representatives and Guilford County’s nurse supervisor. A NFP nurse and one of the site’s enrolled mothers shared with the group their personal experience with NFP.
First-time mothers enrolled in NFP meet with a registered nurse early in pregnancy and home visits continue through the child’s second birthday. Registered nurses visit weekly for the first month after enrollment and then every other week until the baby is born. Visits resume to weekly for the next six weeks after the baby is born to help mom transition into her new role,
and then decrease to every other week until the child is 21 months old. The last three visits are monthly until the child is two years old.
“Many of our clients come to us as vulnerable teenagers whose circumstances and inexperience put them and their babies at risk,” said Suzanne White, Guilford County nurse supervisor. “Thework of our nurses decreases the risks dramatically by educating and empowering mothers to be self-sufficient. Nothing brings me more joy than to see our clients become confident parents
with healthy families and good prospects for education and employment.”
Since implementing the program 10 years ago, the Guilford County NFP site has enrolled 451 mothers and conducted almost 9,500 home visits. Some positive Guilford County NFPoutcomes include:
–Reducing maternal cigarette smoking by 18 percent by 36 weeks gestation.
– Only 9 percent of NFP infants are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, which is 5 percent lower than the NFP national average of 14 percent.
–Program participants’ low birth weight rate is currently at 8.8 percent, which is lower than North Carolina’s rate of 9.12 percent and the NFP national average of 9.3 percent.
North Carolina NFP is supported by a public-private partnership that includes The Duke Endowment, The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NorthCarolina Foundation, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. and Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.
“As clinical trials have shown, the positive lifestyle changes encouraged by Nurse-Family Partnership benefit families and communities long after the program ends,” said Karen McNeil-Miller, president of Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and NC NFP co-chair. “For this reason,our partnership is committed to seeing this program thrive across North Carolina, exactly as it is
doing here in Guilford County.”
In addition to Guilford County, the NFP program serves parents and children in Buncombe,Wake, Pitt, Cleveland, Mecklenburg, Rutherford, Polk, McDowell and Robeson counties. The North Carolina NFP, working in tandem with the NFP National Service Office, is dedicated tosustaining and expanding the program to additional counties in the state.