'We are one, large international team and should be learning from each other'


Earlier in the month, FNP founder Professor David Olds took part in a webinar with FNP graduate, now Health Visitor, Jade Batten and FNP National Unit Director Ailsa Swarbrick.
Professor Olds answered questions from the FNP community on a range of topics, including hearing the client voice, the ADAPT project, and engaging fathers. David stressed the importance of learning from each other in the FNP community, both nationally and internationally, and how this gives us the opportunity to challenge our thinking.

Hearing the client voice

During the session, Jade, having successfully been through the programme herself, asked David how the Family Nurse Partnership programme both here in England and in the United States is making sure that the client voice is heard.

“The programme is built around listening and guiding, that is fundamental. Moving forward we need to do a better job of systematising how we do this…[We need to create] better avenues for clients to share their observations about how things are going. What I especially love about what you’ve done here in England is to have clients on the interview panels for new nurses. That is essential and it’s a reflection of how critical it is that on every level of this process we hear from clients. It’s a fundamental feature of the culture we have tried to build on.”

Engaging dads

In Jade’s current role as a health visitor, she sees first-hand how important it is involve and engage fathers to make sure they feel part of the journey too.

She asked David about the role of fathers in the FNP programme and what else can be done involve more of them, especially for those with complex needs.

Involving fathers has been an objective of the programme from day one, and I have to say that there is room for us to do more work there. Many fathers really want to be actively engaged with their children, even when the relationship with their partners doesn’t continue and so I think that we need to think more deeply about how do to this and to keep them engaged.”


In 2016 FNP in England began to develop the ADAPT programme, to identify adaptations that would enable FNP to better meet the needs of families and respond to ongoing change in the local and national context. Currently, FNP teams in 20 local authorities are involved in the project, working on and testing a variety of adaptations to the programme. ADAPT is unique to FNP in England. A colleague from an FNP team asked David for his view on the project, asking if he thought the changes might have an impact on outcomes.

I am really excited about the ADAPT programme. It’s very clear from the evidence for the programme that the benefits are most pronounced where there are overlapping adversities. But also when mothers themselves are challenged with being able to cope with those adversities and we need to do a better job of targeting the programme, making sure that it’s reaching those who are most at risk. Another element of the ADAPT work that I think is so critical is the personalisation of the programme; adjusting and adapting the content and the dosage to the client, to align with their fears and aspirations.These kind of adaptations are fundamental to the model itself.”

For more on what Professor Olds and Jade discussed about ADAPT, the changes to the programme and engaging with fathers, watch the short clip below.