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Children's Centres

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the project to determine how health visitors can work more closely with children's centres; what funds were made available for the project; and if he will make a statement. (137220)

The Government have committed £7 million in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to pilot the Nurse Family Partnership initiative in 10 sites in England. This nurse-led intensive home visiting programme has been developed, refined and rigorously tested over 30 years in the US and has resulted in impressive outcomes for vulnerable children and mothers. The programme will be delivered on the pilot sites by health visitors and midwives working within integrated services for children and families, linked to Sure Start children's centres.

Evaluation of the pilot will inform the future commissioning of high intensity early intervention and prevention programmes, as part of the progressive universal model of child and family health. Evaluation will also examine short term impacts on maternal and child health and assess the role of practitioners and their skills requirements for such a model of intervention.