Programme to provide the best start in life for young parents and their babies takes its first steps

The launch of the Barnsley Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) Advisory Board today (Wednesday 20 December), marked the re-introduction of this evidence-based home-visiting programme for first time young mums and their families in Barnsley.

The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP), which will be available from March 2024, will provide personalised support that helps improve child development and school readiness for the babies of first-time young mums.

Young mothers-to-be aged 24 and under will be partnered with a specially trained family nurse, who will visit them regularly, from early pregnancy until between the child’s first and second birthday.

Delivery of the programme will be tailored to respond to the individual strengths and needs of each family.  Being on the FNP programme will help young parents develop healthy relationships and understand their child’s needs and will support them in making positive choices that enable their child to have the best possible start in life. FNP works with the family, strengthening bonds and promoting a positive start to create a nurturing environment for a child's early development. 

The launch was attended by Deputy Director Lynne Reed and Quality Improvement Lead Sue Hillsden from the 0-19 Clinical Programmes Unit at the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) part of the Department of Health and Social Care, which leads the FNP programme nationally.

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to support and enable the highest quality delivery of the Family Nurse Partnership programme, as well as providing oversight and support to the recently announced Start for Life Workforce Pilot.

The Advisory Board is composed of representatives from a range of services and young parents.

It is both strategic and operational and will provide the FNP team support and ensure the voices of parents, carers, and their babies are heard and responded to, and that there is strong strategic leadership, clear accountability, and a focus on sustainability.

The Board will report to the Children’s Trust Executive Group, and through this to the Barnsley Place Partnership, Barnsley Health and Well-Being Board, and Barnsley 2030 Board.

Cllr Wendy Cain, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “This is an exciting development for Barnsley, and the FNP Advisory Board is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable parents and their babies, in line with Barnsley’s vision of being the place of possibilities.”

Prof. Jamie Waterall, Deputy Chief Nurse, Chief Public Health Nurse directorate, OHID, Department of Health and Social Care said: “Intensive parenting support in the early years can be a game changer for vulnerable children and public health nurses have a crucial role to play in improving outcomes for children and reducing health inequalities. The Family Nurse Partnership helps parents provide sensitive, responsive care, which is the foundation for child development and a critical factor in longer-term positive outcomes for children. We look forward to working with Barnsley’s FNP Advisory Board, the wider health and care system locally, as well as the new family nurse team.”    

More information about the Barnsley Family Nurse Partnership can be found on our Public Health Nursing Service webpage

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