County recognizes Nurse-Family Partnerships on Mother’s Day

/Photo by Alfonso Romero via freeimages.com

On Mother’s Day, the Kenosha County Division of Health Services has the following to say about the importance of Nurse-Family Partnerships to first time moms in need:

This Mother’s Day, we recognize all of the moms who are working hard to give their children the best possible start and opportunities for success. It’s not easy being a mom for the first time, and some moms are working especially hard to provide their babies with a better childhood than what they experienced. Aliah Arneson watched her parents struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism throughout her childhood and wanted her daughter to never experience the things she did growing up. “She is the best thing that ever happened to me,” Aliah said of her daughter, who just turned 3 and enjoys writing her ABCs. “It will be different for my daughter. My daughter will be acknowledged and have a voice.” When Aliah got pregnant, she did not have support or a strong role model in her life. She then got connected to a Nurse-Family Partnership nurse through Kenosha County Division of Health. The program helped her to provide her daughter with a safe place to live and become a confident mom. Nurse Sarah Milkie gained Aliah’s trust. She helped her to understand her baby’s health and meet her goals to breastfeed, among others. Because of her hard work as a single working mom, Aliah no longer qualifies for public assistance and is providing a better life for her daughter. “I want my daughter to not be afraid of education. I fell between the cracks without a mentor or someone there to tell me I could,” said Aliah. With the help of her nurse, Sarah, she worked to improve her child’s early learning and brain development and that will increase her success when she starts school. In Kenosha County, Nurse-Family Partnership nurses have served more than 740 families in poverty. Our nurses work alongside the family throughout the expectant mom’s pregnancy up until her child’s second birthday. More than 40 years of scientifically-proven research shows that the program improves birth and child health outcomes, school readiness, economic self-sufficiency and reduces child abuse. Not only do the children have brighter outcomes, but communities also prosper and the returns on investment are substantial. According to the RAND Corporation, every $1 invested in Nurse-Family Partnership returns up to $5.70 for the highest-risk families served. Nurse-Family Partnership has long had bipartisan support for the federal home visiting program – the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, which provides states like Wisconsin with funding to strengthen families in poverty with evidence-based home visiting programs like Nurse-Family Partnership. This pro-family, federal program needs to be reauthorized this year to ensure that moms like Aliah are given the tools to stop cycles of drug abuse, become economically self-sufficient and provide better opportunities for their children. We thank Speaker Paul Ryan for his past support of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, and encourage him to continue making this smart public investment to break cycles of poverty and strengthen families. Governor Scott Walker has also called to expand Nurse-Family Partnership in his state budget. Our community should be proud of moms like Aliah this Mother’s Day that are working alongside their nurses to be the best moms they can be for their children! Better communities start with great moms! For more information or, please call the Kenosha County Division of Health at (262) 605-6700, (800) 472-8008, or visit www.kenoshacounty.org.

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