Whatcom County nurses will support new parents with home visits, after the county Health Department won a $175,000 grant to pay for a program that has been shown to improve children's health.
As many as 45 children in the county will participate in the Nurse-Family Partnership program. The Health Department plans to start enrolling families in November, said Judy Ziels, the county's public health nursing supervisor.
Low-income, first-time mothers will be eligible. The program will target certain at-risk groups, including Hispanic women, mothers in isolated rural areas, and families with substance abuse in the household.
"Evidence shows that when families receive this kind of support, their children are born healthier, are less likely to suffer from abuse or neglect and are better prepared for school," Thrive by Five Washington said in a statement. The public-private partnership for early learning administers the grant.
Nurses continue to visit the families until the childs second birthday. Although the current grant is for one year, the Health Department plans to secure other funds to keep the program going, Ziels said.