“Familie for første gang”/Norwegian Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Pilot. Final Report on a Four-Year Real-Time Evaluation
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The Work Research Institute (AFI) at OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway, conducted a four-year real-time evaluation (2016-2019) of the implementation of the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) programme in Norway. In Norwegian, the programme is entitled “Familie for første gang” (Family for the First Time). NFP is a home visiting programme in which specially trained nurses visit at-risk first-time mothers-to-be from pregnancy until the child is two years old. The programme is being piloted in Norway from spring 2016 until mid-2021. The evaluation was commissioned by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir). The aim of the evaluation is to assess the feasibility of implementing NFP in a Norwegian context; the extent to which implementation can be accomplished in line with the original (international) programme’s criteria; and to assess any benefits from the programme. The analyses are based on interviews with participants, nurses, collaborators and local authority representatives, as well as quantitative data collected by the nurses, including data on the participants' education, work and age, involvement, mental health, sense of mastery, loneliness, partner status and violence. The findings indicate that NFP has been largely implemented as planned in Norway, and that adaptations with respect to recruitment, target population and collaboration with surrounding systems appear to be successful. The programme reaches out to a vulnerable target population that is otherwise challenging to assist, and which may be difficult to reach by means of other interventions. NFP is suitable for adaptation to diverse needs and can embrace families with diverse and complex challenges. The number of included families indicates that the target population in Norway is larger than originally estimated. The programme is adaptable and can successfully interact with other services. However, NFP will not be adaptable as a locally developed service, and NFP excludes pregnant mothers who already have a child/children. The real-time evaluation concludes that there is a need for and high acceptance of a high-intensity programme such as NFP in Norway. The programme offers close and structured guidance for vulnerable families who need extra support in a challenging life phase. No corresponding service exists in local authority services in Norway for this target population. Although the data material does not permit effectiveness to be measured, the real-time evaluation finds that this intervention is probably capable of preventing child neglect and children being taken into care. In this way, an early intervention in the form of NFP might prevent problems for vulnerable families later in life.