Yakima County’s Nurse Family Partnership program reaches those who are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Nurses make home visits in Yakima County and in outlying rural communities to support child development, provide early intervention, enhance parenting skills, improve the quality of parent-child interactions, and promote school readiness activities for families at risk for child abuse, neglect and poor educational outcomes. Since 2002, our community has responded to the fact that Yakima County has the third highest teen pregnancy rate in the state, and one of the highest rates in the nation. Out of 31 states that have an evidence-based Nurse Family Partnership program, Yakima County’s program has been recognized as one of the nation’s most effective child welfare programs, serving the highest percentage of Native American participants (9%) and the highest percentage of ethnically diverse clients (68% Hispanic). It also serves the highest proportion of new mothers who are under 15 years of age.
Nurse Family Partnership recipients are women with low incomes who are pregnant with their first child, and who agree to home visits until their child is two years old. The goals for home visiting are to improve pregnancy outcomes, improve child health and development, and improve families’ economic self-sufficiency. Yakima County’s Nurse Family Partnership has made significant gains in progressing toward these goals including: a decrease in subsequent pregnancies for first time teen mothers, a decrease in child abuse and neglect, a decrease in child injuries, a decrease in juvenile delinquency, reduced welfare use, an increase in high school diploma attainment, and an increase in economic self-sufficiency.
We are very grateful for this Thrive by Five Home Visiting Services Account grant! Nurse Family Partnership makes all the difference for so many teen mothers who have no other support system in their lives.