The Nurse-Family Partnership is a nationally-recognized, evidence-based prevention program implemented through the Saint Louis County Public Health Department. In Missouri, it is called "Building Blocks," and is sponsored by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
The Nurse-Family Partnership is a voluntary prevention program providing nurse home visitation services to low income, first-time mothers in the area. Highly educated, registered nurses begin services early in pregnancy and continue visitation through the child’s second year. Nurses provide support, education, and counseling on health, behavioral, self-sufficiency, and parenting issues.
A cornerstone of the Nurse-Family Partnership is the extensive research conducted over the last three decades. Randomized controlled trials were conducted with three diverse populations beginning in Elmira, New York, in 1977; in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1987; and in Denver, Colorado, in 1994. The program effects that have the strongest evidentiary foundations are those that have been found in at least two of the three trials. They are listed below:
Consistent Program Effects:
- Improved prenatal health
- Fewer childhood injuries
- Fewer subsequent pregnancies
- Increased intervals between births
- Increased maternal employment
- Improved school readiness
A 2004 cost-benefit analysis by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy showed a savings of $17,180 for each child born to a Nurse-Family Partnership mother. In light of these proven outcomes, the Nurse-Family Partnership has been praised by the National Institute for Early Education Research, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, the Office of the Surgeon General, and the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.
There are currently about 100 young mothers participating in the Building Blocks Nurse-Family Partnership program in the Saint Louis Metropolitan area. The program changes the life trajectories for both mother and child, benefiting multiple generations. National implementation of this program is now underway – the program currently serves more than 20,000 families annually in 21 states.
Guidelines for the Saint Louis Building Blocks program include:
- First-time mother
- Less than 28 weeks pregnant
- Low-income (qualify for WIC or Medicaid)
- Resident of Saint Louis City or County
For more information about the Building Blocks Saint Louis Nurse-Family Partnership Program, please call: 314-615-7902.
Or you can visit the:
North Central Community Health Center
4000 Jennings Station Road
Saint Louis, MO 63121