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February 22
​400 Babies and Counting Get a Head Start on Life as Wake County Program Turns 10

In February 2009, the first Wake County nurse visited the home of an expectant mother as part of the Nurse-Family Partnership. Nearly 14,000 home visits and 400 babies later, the program is celebrating a decade of strengthening Wake County families.

The Nurse-Family Partnership is a voluntary community healthcare initiative that pairs at-risk, first-time mothers with specially trained nurses to help them prepare for parenthood. The nurse home visitors provide regular in-home visits beginning early in the pregnancy through the baby’s birth and continue to offer those visits twice a month though the child’s second birthday.

“Over the past decade, hundreds of Wake County’s youngest and most vulnerable residents have started life strong, thanks to our nurse home visitors," said Wake County Human Services Director Regina Petteway. “These dedicated, compassionate professionals invest nearly three years into the lives of Wake County families as they help to ensure at-risk babies have every opportunity for success.”

Nurse home visitors coach new moms on lots of topics to help them achieve a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Areas of focus include:

  • Making healthy lifestyle choices during pregnancy;
  • Parenting skills;
  • Making a safe home environment; and
  • Setting goals to ensure family stability.

In addition, nurse home visitors assess the family’s needs and provide referrals for health care, child care, job training and economic services assistance as needed. The nurses also help them build and sustain a strong support network of friends and family.

The Nurse-Family Partnership consists of a team of four nurses, plus administrative support staff. Each nurse has a caseload of about 26 clients, working with a total of 100 Wake County residents at a time. Residents participate in the program for about 27 months.

To learn how to participate in the program, call Wake County Human Services at 919-212-7210.


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