SOLANO COUNTY – Visits by nurses are the cornerstone of a new program coming to Solano County that helps first-time moms, including current and former foster youth, to be successful parents.
The Nurse Family Partnership is a federal project that funds local programs that reduce child maltreatment by targeting first-time mothers who may be at high-risk for neglecting or abusing their children.
Solano County Child Welfare Services and Public Health divisions collaborated on a proposal that targets the use of Public Health nurses to help young, first-time mothers, including those who have been linked to the foster care system – either as a foster child or the spouse of foster child.
“With this program, first-time moms, including our former foster youth, will have a positive resource to guide them as they learn how to be good parents,” said Linda Orrante, Child Welfare Services director.
The U.S. Department of Health Services Administration on Children Youth and Families awarded grants to 17 organizations throughout the nation. Solano County Health and Social Services is one of only two California organizations to receive a grant and is the only one in which Child Welfare Services plays a lead role. Solano County will receive $1.3 million over the five-year grant.
The nurses will visit the young mothers from early in the pregnancy through the first two years of the child’s life, focusing on developing the mother-child bond and educating the mother on child development, appropriate discipline and other positive parenting skills.
With over 20 years of evidence, Orrante said the Nurse Family Partnership has proven itself very effective in reducing child abuse and substance abuse rates in all types of communities – urban, suburban and rural. As a result of the program, there have been both increases in positive outcomes (good school performance, fewer accidental injuries, etc.) and decreases in negative outcomes (referrals for neglect or abuse, delinquent activities, failure to complete education, etc.)
“What’s even more exciting is that many of the participants go on to become positive role models for their family and friends,” Orrante said.
The strategies used in the Nurse Family Partnership will complement other local home visiting programs, including the Integrated Family Support Initiative and BabyFirst Solano, that are improving the well-being of children and success of parents.
Posted: Dec. 19, 2008