Helping local young parents to increase their parenting confidence and giving them the guidance and support they need to give their baby the best start in life.
Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) was first introduced in England 10 years ago and the programme continues to go from strength to strength.
Since the launch of Cheshire East’s FNP initiative in 2012 the team has delivered over 9,215 family visits and seen over 246 babies born through the programme.
One of those babies born through the programme is Noah, son of Macclesfield parents Alishia and Jay. Noah’s parents got involved in the Family Nurse Partnership programme when Alishia found out she was pregnant. Read more about the family’s FNP journey.
After experiencing a difficult childhood Alishia was determined to give her son Noah the best start in life. Realising they both needed help and support as new and young parents-to-be Alishia and Jay enrolled on the programme. Support began during Alishia’s pregnancy and a strong bond quickly developed between the parents-to-be and their family nurse, Hilary.
The tailored programme has helped the couple increase their parenting confidence and has given Alishia and Jay the guidance and support they needed to give their son the best start in life.
It has also helped to improve their self-esteem, develop strong relationships with a network of health professionals and has provided emotional and practical support.
It has been a privilege for Hilary to see how the couple have grown as parents and how proud they are of Noah’s development over the two and a half years she has worked with family, “This family have had a difficult journey. When I met them there were lots of professionals from various agencies involved and they were finding this very intrusive and difficult and thought everyone expected them to fail. I started to work with Alishia and Jay’s strengths and they worked really hard to turn things around for their baby. You only have to look at Noah now to see how happy he is and what a good job they have done as parents.”
Here, Alishia shares a snippet of a day when Family Nurse Hilary visits …
Our day starts at 7.30am. We get up and have a cuddle while watching Thomas the Tank Engine. We talk about the colours of each of the trains – I think that’s why he talks so well because we always encourage him to talk.
It’s 8.30am and time for breakfast. This morning it’s cereal and fruit. Noah loves his food. Our family nurse taught us about the importance of a healthy diet for the entire family. After Noah’s bath we get dressed ready to go out. Noah wants to dress himself now and he’s always copying what we do. Sometimes it’s hard to let him do things himself, especially if we’re in a rush to get out, but I know it does him good to think he can do it himself. You have to be really patient!
We are really lucky as we live close to the library and Noah loves to go there. They have a train set – he’s obsessed with trains. Hilary taught us the importance of reading to babies and now Noah loves books. While we’re in the library we read. Noah knows lots of colours and while I’m reading to him he points to things and I ask him what colour it is and he tells me – he even knows orange! I know I’m his mum, but I think that’s really good – he isn’t 2 yet!
It’s approaching lunchtime so we make our way home for some food. We have to hurry as our Family Nurse Hilary is visiting today. As soon as she arrives Noah shouts “Hilary” and he excitedly wants to tell her about his granddad’s car and starts singing “incy wincy spider”.
During this visit we talk about how much I have achieved and how I will continue to use the support Hilary has given me when we finish the FNP programme. That’s what I like about our visits, Hilary talks to me about topics she thinks I might like to learn about and I decide what will be most helpful for Noah to help him develop and be ready for school. At the minute Noah goes to nursery once a week – this is to help him get used to going more often when he’s 2. Hilary helped us get his nursery place with free 2 year old funding. He loves going.
It has been a busy day and we go to Jay’s mums for tea. We always walk there and Jay’s mum’s partner drives us back home so we get back in time for Noah’s bedtime. He has a good bedtime routine. We have learnt how patterns and routines are good for children as it makes them feel safe and secure. Noah’s bedtime routine includes a bath and a bedtime story – his favourite book Thomas the Tank Engine. He reads it that often he knows what’s coming next!
Noah’s day has ended exactly how it started…with his favourite train, Thomas the Tank Engine!
At last me and Jay can have a bit of time together. Having time together is important as we need to be relaxed and calm to be the best mum and dad we can be to Noah – another thing we learnt from Hilary.
It will be hard not to have our family nurse visit anymore, but we have come such a long way. We’re really proud of ourselves and of Noah and if I’m honest we can manage by ourselves now. I have just got a part time job which I am really looking forward to starting.