Royal College endorses Nurse-Family Partnership

December 8, 2014

Nurse-Family PartnershipIn a position statement made public this week, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has endorsed the Nurse-Family Partnership program, or NFP.

“Evidence based home visiting programs such as the Nurse-Family Partnership [should] be made available to all vulnerable families in Canada,” the statement says, noting that Canada’s first randomized controlled trial on the Nurse-Family Partnership — the BC Healthy Connections Project — is currently underway in BC.

The College argues that the years between conception and age six are a time when crucial developments take place across social, emotional, cognitive and physical domains. As well, it states that early childhood has a profound influence on adult health.

“Adult health is more influenced by events and conditions in early childhood and even before birth than was ever imagined in the not too distant past,” the statement says. “Health promotion and disease prevention programs targeted at adults would be more effective if investments were also made early in life on the origins of those diseases and behaviours.”

The position statement also notes that Canada lags far behind other countries in terms of early childhood education and care. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development currently ranks Canada as tied for last place among 25 countries evaluated for early childhood development.