What is the Best way to Break the Cycle of Poverty?
"If there is one overarching lesson from the last few decades of research about how to break the cycles of poverty in the United States, it's the importance of intervening early, ideally in the first year or two of life or even before the child is born. That's often where our assistance will be most effective and efficient."
- Nicholas Kristof from his book, A Path Appears
Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is an early intervention program with a multi-decade, proven track record of lifting families out of poverty and onto self-sufficiency.
And it is a relative bargain, especially when you consider the return on investment for this intervention.
Exhaustive research from multiple NFP evaluation studies affirms that NFP has a remarkable return on investment -- every dollar invested returns more than $5 down the road.
And the health and wellness outcomes for moms and their babies with an NFP intervention are remarkable: significant reductions in infant mortality, smoking is reduced during pregnancy, and trips to emergency departments occur much less often for NFP families. Immunization rates go up, breastfeeding by new mothers increases, and there are fewer subsequent preterm births for NFP moms.
These are just a few of the positive outcomes from NFP.
NFP is supported by conservatives and liberals alike -- it is a nonpartisan poverty fighting program that works.
Care Ring has been fortunate to bring NFP to the Charlotte market for more than 5 years, primarily through the generous support of private philanthropic investments from leading North Carolina funders like The Duke Endowment, and Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust but also through local support from United Way of Central Carolinas, Mecklenburg County, Social Venture Partners Charlotte and other investors.
In DC this week our elected officials are debating continued federal investment in early childhood funding. Bi-partisan leaders in the House and Senate are considering an extension for NFP through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visitation -- MIECHV -- program (one of the all-time worst acronyms IMHO but that is for another day).
While our Charlotte NFP program does not receive any MIECHV funding, many of our sister and brother NFP programs around the state and the country do receive this federal support, and their continued effectiveness and impact are reliant on continued MIECHV support.
If you are inspired to reach out to our elected officials to support this non-partisan, pro-family, proven anti-poverty program, please check out: www.SupportNFPFamilies.org, or contact your Congressperson or Senator to share with them why you think these kind of investments are so important to our country.