FNP week

One relationship, generations of benefit: Family Nurse Partnership marks 10 years of breaking cycle of disadvantage 

Family Nurse Partnership (FNP), is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its introduction in England. As part of ‘FNP Week’, local teams across the country will be highlighting the incredible achievements of the last 10 years. Since 2007, FNP has: 

  • worked with 32,000 families
  • delivered 1 million home visits
  • seen 30,000 FNP babies born 

FNP works with some of England’s most vulnerable parents. Of those that enrolled in the programme in 2016, 72% are on very low income/completely supported by benefits, 42% lived away from their parents for more than three months while under 18 years old and 27% have had mental health problems. Working with them intensively to build a stable therapeutic relationship for up to 2 and a half years – family nurses help their clients to overcome the challenges they face and change the course of their children’s lives.

By focusing on their strengths, FNP enables young parents to develop good relationships with and understand the needs of their child, make choices that will give their child the best possible start in life, and believe in themselves and their ability to succeed.

During the last decade, FNP has delivered positive outcomes for clients:

  • 81% of FNP babies meet the same developmental milestones as their peers at fourteen months – a crucial indicator of likely future achievement
  • 92% of FNP babies are up to date with immunisations at six months
  • 58% of clients initiate breastfeeding

Fateha Begum, who was supported by FNP in Tower Hamlets, London, for the birth of her first child in 2009 is clear about the long-term impact the programme, and her relationship with her family nurse Sharon, had on both her and her children: 

“The time I spent with FNP was the most beneficial two years of my life. Even though I left the programme years ago, the support my family nurse Sharon gave me still helps me today. My son, Hamza, is doing amazingly at school and is such a responsible big brother. The bond I have with Hamza and is special, and it’s all thanks to Sharon.

“I have volunteered helping new parents or parents-to-be. I wanted to support people in the same situation as I was, and show them that asking for help doesn’t make you weak and incapable. It shows that you are strong and that you care”. 

As part of ‘FNP Week’, the FNP team in Tower Hamlets is holding a special celebration for clients past and present, as well as key local VIPs to highlight their achievements over the last decade. 

The Tower Hamlets team have: 

  • delivered over 16,000 visits
  • seen over 450 babies born through the programme 

Brenda Coughlan has worked with FNP since the programme began in 2007 and is site supervisor in Tower Hamlets:

‘Many of the young parents who come onto the programme are very apprehensive and closed off to begin with but, over time, family nurses are able to break down these barriers. What our young parents learn about themselves from the programme and their family nurses is phenomenal. Not only do they find out how to be the best parent they can to their baby, they build their own confidence, meaning they’re more likely to go on to achieve their own goals and aspirations. It’s wonderful to see graduated clients go on to give something back to the community’

Ailsa Swarbrick, Director of the FNP National Unit, which oversees the delivery of FNP nationally, said:

‘We’re very proud of all we’ve achieved together over the last 10 years. Some of the clients FNP works with face unimaginable challenges.  Family nurses work with them on a long-term basis, developing a trusting relationship and helping them build the skills and confidence they need to bond with their babies and make good decisions about their lives and futures. This, in turn, helps set their children up for life. It’s a virtuous cycle that has a positive impact on two generations of the same family at the same time”.