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Nurse-Family Partnership

Nurse-Family Partnership

Three separate randomized controlled trials over the past three decades validated the Nurse-Family Partnership program among diverse populations at different locations. The evaluations have found consistent program effects for first-time mothers, usually under the age of 24, and their children:

  • Improved prenatal health
  • Fewer childhood injuries
  • Fewer subsequent pregnancies
  • Increased intervals between births
  • Increased maternal employment
  • Improved school readiness

To date, NFP is the only home-visiting program to have significant, enduring effects on substantiated cases of child maltreatment.

A 15-year follow-up of the Elmira, NY trial showed that mothers in the program were more economically self-sufficient and much more likely to avoid criminal behavior, and their children lived healthier, more productive lives, than the mothers and children in the control group. A recent review of this data concluded that the program reduced the maltreatment of first-born children in homes experiencing low to moderate domestic violence in large measure by reducing the number of subsequent children the mothers bore and the length of time they relied on public assistance.

Within EMCF’s framework for assessing an organization’s evidence of effectiveness, NFP meets the standard of “proven effectiveness.”  

A 20-year follow-up study of the Memphis, TN trial demonstrated that mothers in the program had lower mortality rates, and their children were less likely to die from preventable causes, than mothers and children in the control group.

More details on the program's findings and outcomes achieved for mothers and their children can be found on NFP's website.

FUTURE EVALUATION PLANS

As part of a Pay for Success agreement with South Carolina, NFP will undergo a randomized controlled trial conducted by J-PAL. This evaluation will follow participating mothers, at least 65 percent of them from the lowest-income zip codes in the state, and assess the program’s effects on reducing preterm births and child injuries, and deferring subsequent pregnancies. The study is expected to be completed in 2023.

The NFP National Service Office continues to work with David Olds and his team at the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health at the University of Colorado-Denver to study the program's long-term effects and conduct research to improve the model.