The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is celebrating 10 years of its successful Family Nurse Partnership Programme.
The team marked the occasion at a Halloween themed graduation event for their latest group of children to complete the programme.
Staff from a range of parenting support organisations were also on hand with information for families, along with previous participants in the programme who shared their stories.
First developed in the USA over 30 years ago, the nurse-led home visiting programme is offered to young mums aged 19 and under and their families. The same family nurse visits the mum and her family from early pregnancy until the child’s second birthday, taking them through a range of activities and supporting them with the many issues that families can face.
Since 2012, 400 young mums in the Southern Trust have benefitted from Family Nurse Partnership.
The programme is commissioned regionally by the Public Health Agency (PHA) on behalf of the Department of Health. Deirdre Webb, Assistant Director of Public Health Nursing for Children and Young People at the PHA said: “The Family Nurse Programme has been invaluable to hundreds of mothers and their children over the past 10 years. The PHA is delighted to have been involved in the programme’s development and success over that time. It has helped to lay an important path encouraging positive mental health and wellbeing in childhood by helping young mothers in the vital first few years of their child’s life. We hope the ongoing health and social wellbeing benefits will be felt for years to come by those young people, their mothers and the extended family.”
Paying tribute to the service, Colm McCafferty, Interim Director of Children and Young People’s Services for the Southern Trust said: “Family Nurse Partnership is a great example of how through early intervention we can focus on the future health and wellbeing of child and mother to improve outcomes and have a positive influence on the long term outlook for families.
“Becoming a parent at any age can be challenging. By helping to reassure them through common issues and insecurities, family nurses play a very significant role in guiding young parents to think about their own future aspirations for education, training and employment, and supporting them to be the best parent that they can be.”
Congratulating all the graduates, their parents and the Family Nurse Partnership team, Trust Board Chair, Eileen Mullan added: “We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating with our Family Nurse Partnership team who have supported so many young mums to give their babies the best start in life over the past 10 years. We are also extremely proud of all of the young parents involved with the programme. All of their beautiful babies and toddlers are a true credit to them and it is really heartening to hear about their experiences and plans. We wish them all the very best and look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.”
Applications to Family Nurse Partnership should be made as early as possible in pregnancy (up to 28 weeks). Applications can be received from anyone – any Health and Social Care professional, Teachers, a family member or you can self-refer. For further information Tel: 028 3756 4632 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org