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The Family Nurse Partnership programme in Scotland: improving outcomes for child, parents, and society


These two examples below provide real life cases of how the Family Nurse Partnership helps young parents.

Client story 1 (By a Family Nurse)

Moira was 18 years old when recruited onto the programme.  She had left school at age 15 years with no qualifications.  She had a history of being a looked after child and was in a relationship currently with an abusive partner.  Both Moira and her partner had a criminal history and were addicted to heroin and other street drugs.  Moira was mistrusting of professionals and had limited support from family and friends.

The family nurse worked to build a therapeutic relationship with Moira.  The strength-based approach worked well and in time a trusting relationship has been established.  It was evident to the family nurse that part of the mistrust Moira had of services was related to her belief that they were negative about her ability to become a good parent.  Due to the level of concerns identified in the life of Moira and potential risk for her baby, the unborn baby’s name was placed on the Child Protection Register. The family nurse worked with Moira to help her recognise her own self-belief and how she could demonstrate this to the other services involved.  The family nurse respected that Moira was on a difficult journey with many demands being placed upon her and aimed to not judge her when things went wrong.  The family nurse continued to work with Moira to achieve her ‘heart’s desire’ to become a good mum.  Using the FNP materials and a variety of approaches including motivational interviewing Moira began to flourish.  She no longer takes illegal substances and has maintained this through working with the support of an addiction service.

Moira was able to recognise the importance of relationships in her life and worked hard to re-establish the support of her parents and siblings.  During this period she separated from her partner and was able to reflect that this was a good decision for her and her baby as he could be influential in her return to an adverse lifestyle.

Having found her inner confidence Moira has began to look forward in her life with her baby.  She recently moved home and independently cares for her baby.  She   continues to actively participate in the Family Nurse Partnership Programme.  Moira is excited about her future life with her child who is enjoying a secure attachment with his mum.  Moira has set up child care for her son on a part-time basis as she herself has successfully registered to start at college. She is keen to do the basic qualifications which she feels she was unable to do due to leaving school at such a young age.  The motivation and drive for success demonstrated by Moira has been recognised by support agencies.  Moira’s child was removed from the child protection register and Social Work is no longer involved.  Moira openly describes herself as a good mum and is proud of what she has achieved.


© NHSScotland Photo Library 2012
© NHSScotland Photo Library 2012

Client story 2

The family nurse contacted me when I was still coming to terms with being pregnant. Her approach was the first thing I noticed.  I remember how she never offered any comments and seemed to listen to what I had to say.  I wondered if this meant she was no good and that she knew nothing.  I found myself testing her by trying to shock a reaction out of her. She was kind of warm and made me feel good about myself.

Age 18 and pregnant had not been my plan and the father of the baby was less than supportive. Before I knew what was happening I found myself involved with Social Work and worried that I would not be allowed to keep my baby after the birth. The family nurse “helped me to believe in myself” and to plan for how I could manage the baby as a single parent.  I know now that I was really frightened and would find myself “behaving badly by shouting at the professionals who were only doing their job.” The family nurse helped me to recognise why I felt angry and in time I have got better at managing to “think before I speak.” I have even managed to change my behaviour with people in the street.  Being tough was what I believed was the best approach and I would fight in the street if I just didn’t like someone.

By the time my baby was born I wanted to show everyone how I could manage and could rely on the visits from my family nurse who was working to support me with what I felt was important in the life of my baby.

I am a good parent for my daughter and have been able to enjoy every minute of her life, well almost because it is okay to say it is tough and hard work.  People doubted that I could keep her safe but my family nurse got me to see that I was really doing well.  I love my daughter and the time we spend together.  It is different being a mother than what I imagined or seen with my pals.  My daughter is my main focus in life but I have been able to return to work and move to a suitable home for us to live in.  My family nurse has helped me to recognise that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to and guess what I believe her.

The programme will come to an end for me soon. My child is no longer on the child protection register and I am managing well to raise her on my own.  I hoped she would be a happy child who I could feel proud of, and she is.

My family nurse asked if I could give her any advice about when she starts to recruit new clients.  I told her how I would never have accepted seeing her if in the beginning she had not just kept coming back to see me.   I worry that others could do the same so have told her to tell them about me and that I truly believe that this programme has helped me with every single aspect of my life as well as allowing me to be a really great mum for my daughter.  Having a family nurse is different to what anyone could imagine and is the best thing I ever agreed to be involved with.

Anonymous, age 19

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About this case study
Main Contact

Gail Trotter

Family Nurse Partnership Implementation Lead (Scotland)

Email: Gail.Trotter@scotland.gsi.

Elke Loeffler and Gail Trotter wrote this case study in 2012.

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