Nursing scheme to help young parents

Essex County Standard: County councillor Dick Madden who supports the scheme. County councillor Dick Madden who supports the scheme.

A NURSING scheme to support young parents is set to be rolled out in north Essex.

The Family Nurse Partnership sees health workers help first-time parents aged 20 or under, from early pregnancy until the baby is two-years-old.

The project, run in partnership between NHS England, Essex County Council, Southend and Thurrock councils, has helped around 500 families in south east Essex since 2008.

But it is set to be run across the county from February, helping an additional 225 of the most disadvantaged new parents each year, once fully up-and-running.

Funding is provided by the Department of Health.

Dick Madden, county councillor for children and families, said: “Every child should have the best start in life and Family Nurse Partnerships play a major role in supporting children in some of the most disadvantaged circumstances to have the opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

“The partnership is an evidencebased, intensive, structured, voluntary home-visiting programme.

“At the moment, this programme does not exist in north Essex but we have identified areas of Tendring and Colchester as priority areas for the roll-out of additional places. Initial research in England has found mothers who receive support from family nurses show positive results, including stopping smoking during pregnancy, high levels of breastfeeding, and improved self-esteem.

“The mothers are also much more likely to return to education or employment when their children are old enough.”

  • How the places will be allocated in 2017 when the project is fully-operational: Tendring, 57; Colchester, 43; Braintree, 30; Basildon, 60; Castle Point, 21; Rochford, 7; Southend, 63; Thurrock 44.

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