We’re Four Years Old!

Remember little Jeffery from Bill Cosby’s Himself stand-up video?

When he first boarded the plane with his Mom, Little Jeffery was the apple of his Mom’s eye. But as the flight continued, Jeffery started acting up, sharing with every passenger that he was “Four Years Old,” and then proceeding to create his own little world of mayhem for the passengers.

Jeffery is like all four-year-olds: full of promise and life and searching to find his voice and his way in the world.

This month, Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) marks its fourth year in Charlotte under Care Ring’s wing. We are so proud of this program and what it is doing to change lives and improve health for so many.

And yet, like Jeffery and his growing pains, it took us a few years to get our sea legs and make our mark.

In the first few years of NFP in Charlotte, we faced the same struggles any organization confronts when launching a new program. New policies to implement, new procedures to follow, and a new culture of intervention to assimilate.

Nurses – the lifeblood of the NFP – were brought on board. Some had the right mix of special nursing skills necessary to succeed in the NFP model. Others were not the best fit for NFP’s rigorous yet loving method of intervention.

So like any new program, NFP in Charlotte had its bumps and missteps. It took longer than many had hoped to start making a deep and long-lasting impact on folks’ lives.

But as we turn the corner to Year Five, NFP in Charlotte is demonstrating extraordinary results. And we want to share not only that we are “Four Years Old,” but that we have one of Charlotte’s greatest poverty fighting programs right here at Care Ring.

Today’s nurses on Care Ring’s NFP team have the longest tenure of service ever (Tony, Valerie, Kenya and Dashe -- you are our Fabulous Four!). And our NFP outcomes are remarkable. In the four years since launching in December of 2009, we have now served over 300 Moms in the Charlotte region. There are now hundreds of “NFP babies” growing up across Charlotte.

If statistics hold true, these babies will perform much better on cognitive and vocabulary tests then other little ones who did not grow up with an NFP nurse supporting the family.

These moms and their babies will have a much greater chance at succeeding in life, and breaking the cycle of poverty in their families. Multiple national, randomized, controlled trials reveal a raft of positive outcomes for NFP families, including:

48% reduction in child abuse

56% reduction in emergency room visits for accidents and poisonings

59% reduction in arrest of children at age 15

Yes, we are as Jeffery shared with the folks on the plane, “Four Years Old!” We are proud, and like Jeffery, we have a tendency to want to let others know about how far we have come.

And we are excited to see what the next four years hold for NFP in Charlotte!

#CareRing #NurseFamilyPartnership #NFP #DonJonas

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