LANSING—The Nurse-Family Partnership program is set to receive $1.5 million to help serve vulnerable families in Michigan as part of the Department of Community Health budget that is expected to be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder this week.
State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker today lauded the funding that will help support and expand the partnership, as dollars are critical for the continued operation of the program. It is currently implemented by health departments in Calhoun, Oakland, Kent, Kalamazoo and Berrien counties.
“This program is uniquely poised to help Michigan achieve its goals in health and education, and economic strength and public safety,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “It’s about changing lives, and this funding will help fuel that success.”
Both policymakers and administrators have recognized the NFP program as a stellar example of cost-effective prevention. The program utilizes registered nurses, who are invited into the homes of first-time, low-income mothers for weekly or biweekly visits from early in pregnancy until the child is two years old.
Findings from three randomized, controlled trials conducted in varied settings over 30 years demonstrate that this voluntary effort helps vulnerable families overcome challenges. These include health and educational disparities, child abuse and neglect, poverty, adult criminality, juvenile delinquency and government dependence.
This level of care results in positive life choices that yield economic benefits to taxpayers. A study by the RAND Corporation found that up to $5.70 is returned in the form of societal cost savings for every dollar spent on NFP in government investment.
“The Nurse-Family Partnership is cost effective and a proven way to help strengthen families and transform communities,” said Schuitmaker.
“It's a pleasure to salute Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker and Rep. Matt Lori for their leadership to secure state funding this year for the Nurse-Family Partnership program,” said Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Fink, an executive committee member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. “NFP is one of the best tools that we have to combat child abuse and neglect in Kalamazoo County, and other areas around the region.
“The research is clear; being abused or neglected multiplies the risk that a child enters the criminal justice system as an adult defendant. It is imperative that we continue this proven parent-coaching and family support program to prevent children from being abused and neglected, reduce future delinquency, and improve outcomes for children. When that happens, everyone wins.”