About two-dozen families in Thurston County will now get support to give their children a great start in life thanks to a recent round of awards from the state's Home Visiting Services Account (HVSA). Thurston County Public Health and Social Services was one of 10 grantees statewide. Over the next year, $102,500 will help Thurston County continue work with the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) to bring proven outcomes such as improved health for pregnant women, fewer childhood injuries, and fewer subsequent pregnancies for families participating in the program. NFP promotes long-term advantages for the community as well through increasing the mother's employment and the child's performance in school.
"Nurse-Family Partnership has three decades of evidence proving it makes an important difference in the lives of children, families, and communities.: said Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero. "By helping first time moms learn how to be effective parents through ongoing support from public health nurses, Thurston County is investing in the next generation of residents who will have a positive impact on our county's future."
Home visiting is a voluntary service in which nurses or other trained professionals meet with at-risk families in their homes and offer information and support related to healthy child and family development. In the Nurse Family Partnership program, these visits happen from once a week to once a month during pregnancy and can continue to a child's third birthday. Evidence shows that when families receive this kind of support, their children are healthier, are less likely to suffer from abuse or neglect and are better prepared for school. In fact, the entire family benefits.
"Home visiting works, and the Home Visiting Services Account is committed to helping make sure more eligible families,especially families in some of our state's most at-risk communities, have access to it." said Nina Auerbach, president and CEO of Thrive by Five Washington, the state's public-private partnership for early learning that administers the account. "An early investment in families results in stronger families and, ultimately, stronger communities."
Since it was created by the Washington state Legislature in 2010, the HVSA has become a national model for leveraging public and private funds to support home visiting programs and has helped Washington invest 10 times more than it did in home visiting just two years ago. As of July 1st, the HVSA has awarded nearly $4 million in grants to 31 evidence-based, research-based and promising home visiting programs serving about 1,000 families in 13 Washington counties. BACKGROUND-
ANY WOMAN CAN ENROLL WHO IS:
- Early in pregnancy, no later than 28 weeks gestation at time of enrollment with first child, single or married;
- Eligible under income requirements.
Women can join as early in pregnancy as desired, but must join no later than the 28th week of pregnancy.A Thurston County Public Health nurse will help you:
How much does the program cost?
- Have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby
- Become a better parent
- Build a strong network of support for you and your baby
- Make your home a safe place for your baby to live and play
- Get referrals for healthcare, childcare, job training and other support services available in Thurston County
- Find ways to continue your education and develop job skills
- Set goals to your family's future and find ways to help you reach them
This program is at no cost to all eligible women.
For information about Thurston County's Nurse-Family Partnership Program, call (360) 867-2548.
You can also learn more at the national Nurse-Family Partnership website at: http://www.nursefamilypartnership.org/-30-