Support for New Parents

02 February 2015 Published in What's New?

In 2013, the Utah Department of Health interviewed Utah mothers who had experienced poor birth outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth, or infant death. Several women mentioned the importance of a support network. As one mother said, "I would love that. I would seriously love it. I don't know anybody."

Evidence-based home visiting programs, such as Nurse-Family Partnership, are voluntary community health programs that support new and expecting parents. A registered nurse provides ongoing home visits to low-income, first time mothers to provide the support they need to have a healthy pregnancy, promote healthy child development and become more economically self-sufficient.  These visits begin during pregnancy and continue through the first two years of their children’s lives.

Home visiting programs improve outcomes for both the mother and the child, reducing rates of preterm birth, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, domestic violence and crime. Economic analyses have determined that Nurse Family Partnership provides a return on investment for taxpayers of $2.37 to $5.70 per $1 invested in the program.

The Utah Department of Health, Office of Home Visiting receives some federal funding for evidence-based home visiting programs through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program which will expire in March 2015. Voices for Utah Children recommends that the federal government continue funding evidence-based home visiting programs and that the Utah Legislature appropriate $2,000,000 per year to fund Nurse-Family Partnership to serve 500 high risk, low-income first time mothers statewide. 

The Utah New Parent Challenge

4UTparents button picThe Utah New Parent Challenge is a crowdsourced contest to raise awareness of Utah's evidence-based home visiting programs and to learn more about the kinds of support Utah parents need. Just tell us what kind of help you would like from a baby expert and upload a photo. The winner gets an evening of dinner, a movie and babysitting. Enter here:

Excellent Deseret News coverage of the Utah New Parents Challenge and Utah's home visiting programs

Learn more about the Utah New Parents Challenge and Utah home visiting 

An important funding source for home-visiting will expire this month unless Congress acts. Contact lawmakers about your support for evidence-based home visiting. 

Resources for spreading the word about the Utah New Parents Challenge

Utah New Parents Challenge printable flier

Contact Lawmakers

Click here for a simple email form to help you email lawmakers about funding evidence-based home visiting.


Learn More

Excellent coverage of the Utah New Parent Challenge and Utah's home visiting programs in the Deseret News
 deseret news Many of the problems leading to pre-term birth, stillborn babies and infant mortality "weren't necessarily about health. They needed a holistic approach, something to help contain all of the drama in their lives, a support network, someone to support them and look at the whole picture and not just focus on what's inside their bellies." -April Young Bennett, Voices for Utah Children Read more.
Congress must act now to save home visiting.
 home-visiting Federal funding for the country’s home visiting program is set to expire if Congress doesn't act quickly. Congress established the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program in 2010 under the Affordable Care Act and extended funding for the program for one year in March 2014. Read more.
 Law enforcement officers support home visiting programs as crime prevention.
 burbank “We have far too many women in the United States, entering our criminal justice system. Home visits focusing on impoverished, pregnant moms and their children have shown to help mothers and their daughters live crime-free, successful lives.” -Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank Read more.


Nurse-Family Partnership saves taxpayer dollars.

government cost savings nurse home visiting In Utah, Medicaid-eligible families that participated in Nurse-Family Partnership experienced fewer preterm births, less domestic violence, and improved employment outcomes compared to other Medicaid-eligible families. Nurse Family Partnership produces significant cost savings in Medicaid, Criminal Justice, Child Welfare, Food Stamps and TANF. Read more.


Families helped by evidence-based home visiting share their stories.

NFP14674 right amanda "Before, I remember always thinking I was going to be stuck," says Amanda. "But it wasn't just me now. I knew I could do it – but I didn't know how." Read more.


Nurse-Family Partnership has helped Utah families since 2008.

 nfp Of Utah families that participated in Nurse-Family Partnership, 93% delivered their babies full term, 93% of the babies were born at a healthy birth weight, 95% of the mothers initiated breastfeeding, and 91% were up-to-date on immunizations at age 2. Read more.

Contact your lawmakers.

Click here for a simple email form to help you email lawmakers about funding evidence-based home visiting.