Teen mum scheme being piloted in west

A NEW scheme to support first-time teenage mums from disadvantaged areas of Londonderry and the wider Western Trust area has progressed with the appointment of a team of family nurses and a supervisor to deliver it.

Northern Ireland’s Family Nurse Partnership is being piloted in the Western Trust and is designed to give children from disadvantaged backgrounds the best start in life.

So far, around 6,000 families in England have benefited from Family Nurse Partnerships.

But the Western Trust is the first area in Northern Ireland to implement the model.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said a team has already commenced training and was working to recruit 100 teenage mums to take part.

He stated: “The Public Health Agency is leading the introduction of Family Nurse Partnerships to Northern Ireland. The Western HSC Trust, as the first test site, has recruited a small team of Family Nurses and a Supervisor to deliver the programme.

“The team has commenced training and the Trust is actively working to recruit 100 teenagers, up to the 28th week of pregnancy, to the programme. The first test site will be completed when babies in this cohort reach two years of age.”

Family nurses are tasked with building close, supportive relationships with families and guiding first-time teenage parents so that they adopt healthier lifestyles for themselves and their babies, provide good care for their babies and plan their futures.