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

Performance Indicators

A wide range of data is collected about the programme in Scotland including an externally commissioned evaluation looking at the transferability of the model into the Scottish context early signs are promising. The programme is seeing high uptake of the programme, low attrition, good fidelity to the model and nurses feeling empowered and well supervised  to support vulnerable families  – click here for more. The Department of Health has also commissioned a randomized control trail due to report next year. The findings of the trial will have significant impact on FNP in UK.

The FNP model improves pregnancy outcomes, child health and development and mother's life course in the short, medium and longer-term. In the US research, FNP children and mothers, mainly those who were high risk with low psychological resources, compared to children and mothers in the comparison group had ( here for more information):

Improved Pregnancy Outcomes

  • 79% reduction in premature birth amongst mothers who smoked
  • Fewer pregnancy related complications and infections
  • 31% fewer closely spaced subsequently pregnancies

Improved Child Health and Development

Increase in Children's School Readiness

  • 50% reduction in language delays at 21 months;
  • 67% reduction in behavioural/intellectual problems at age 6

Increase in Academic Achievement

  • 26% higher scores on school reading and maths achievement in Grades 1-3

Better Mental Health and Risk Taking Behaviour

  • Lower rates of anxiety and depression at age 12
  • Less use of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana at age 12
  • Girls had had fewer pregnancies by age 19

Reduction in Criminal Activity

  • 59% reduction in child arrests at age 15
  • 90% reduction in PINS (US equivalent of supervision orders)

Reduced Child Abuse and Maltreatment

  • 39% fewer injuries
  • 56% reduction in emergency room visits for accidents and poisonings
  • 48% reduction in child abuse and neglect

Improved Maternal Self Sufficiency and Life Course Development

Fewer Unintended Subsequent Pregnancies

  • 23% fewer subsequent pregnancies by child age 2
  • 32% fewer subsequent pregnancies

Increase in Labour Force Participation by the Mother

  • 83% increase by the child's fourth birthday

Reduction in Welfare Use

  • 20% reduction in months on welfare
  • Saved the government over $12,300 per family in welfare payments alone by time children aged 12 , greater than the programme cost of $11,511

Increase in Father Involvement

  • 46% increase in father's presence in household

More Sustained Relationships with Partner

  • 18% longer with current partner
  • Longer time with an employed partner

Reduction in Criminal Activity

  • 60% fewer arrests
  • 72% fewer convictions

The information above is drawn from three different NFP trials, each of which has followed families up at different points in time and measured different factors which is why different outcomes are evident at different ages. This list sets outs the main benefits observed. There were also a number of measures that showed no significant differences between the FNP group and the comparison groups, again these varied between the trials and time points.

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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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