Expanded Home Visiting Services - More Vulnerable Families in Spokane to Receive Home Visiting Services

May 26, 2016

Health district’s Nurse Family Partnership receives grant to expand caseload

For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org

SPOKANE, Wash. – May 26, 2016 – Some of Spokane’s most vulnerable families will receive extra one-on-one support thanks to increased funds from Washington State’s Home Visiting Service Account. The dollars will be used to expand home-based support through the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program, which uses approaches proven to help children develop healthier and be better prepared for school.

Specifically, the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD)-based program will serve an additional 25 Spokane County families enrolled in Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ (DSHS’) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

“Over 5,000 families in Spokane County are struggling at a poverty level that qualifies them for TANF,” said Susan Schultz, NFP manager. “Working with DSHS is a great initial step to reach more of these underserved families, but we also know there are many more who need our help.” 

NFP is a voluntary prevention program where nurses provide home visitations to low-income, first-time mothers. Nurses begin home visits early in the mother’s pregnancy and continue visitations until the child’s second birthday. Nurses focus on the physical, mental and emotional health of the mothers and babies; babies’ developmental stages; parental skills and bonding; and much more. With this additional funding, NFP now has the capacity to serve 165 families.

Continued Schultz, “NFP is one of the most rigorously tested maternal and early childhood health programs of its kind. Research over the past 30 years demonstrates multi-generational outcomes for families and their communities.”

Mothers and children who have participated in the program have consistently demonstrated:

  • significantly improved prenatal health
  • fewer subsequent pregnancies
  • increased maternal employment and less reliance on assistance programs
  • improved school readiness
  • reduced involvement in crime
  • less child abuse, neglect and injuries
  • healthier habits including reduced smoking and alcohol use and improved diets

Created during the 2010 legislative session, the Home Visiting Services Account matches public and private dollars to help support and evaluate evidence- and research-based home visiting programs that show promise. Children’s Home Society also received funds from the account, allowing its team to expand to serve additional TANF families through its Parents as Teachers program.

Other collaborators involved in the expanded funding include Washington State Department of Early Learning, Department of Commerce, and Thrive Washington, the nonprofit public-private early learning partnership overseeing the account.

More information can be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.