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As part of their on-going partnership work, the County Council and NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald have teamed up to launch the Family Nurse Partnership programme to help first-time young parents in the Eastbourne area.
The project is an extension of work that was launched as a pilot in the Hastings area almost two years ago. Under that scheme, more than 100 young families are receiving intensive parenting support.
Under the new scheme, specialist family nurses will provide intensive support for a further 50 young parents, aged mainly under 20, from the 16th week of their pregnancy, right through to their child's 2nd birthday.
The families will receive weekly visits from the family nurse who will provide a wide range of intensive home support, advice and help across a wide range of issues. This will include helping the mother look after herself during pregnancy and then support as the family adjusts to parenthood and the arrival of the new baby.
The service will be based at and operate from the newly opened Hampden Park Children's Centre – part of the County Council's network of centres providing a wide range of services for young families.
East Sussex County Council's Lead Member for Children and Families, Cllr Meg Stroude, said: “We know from our experience with this scheme in Hastings that it can make a huge difference to young parents and families who really benefit from this extra support.
“Approaching parenthood for the first time can be very daunting, especially if you're young. This is an excellent programme and it has built on other parenting support that was already being provided by both ourselves and the health service. I'm delighted we're now in a position to extend the programme in Eastbourne.”
Alison Smith, Strategic Lead for Children and Maternity Services at NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald said: “The Family Nurse Partnership has been a real success elsewhere in East Sussex and it is fantastic that young families in Eastbourne will be able to benefit from the support and advice the scheme offers.
“This service helps young parents to gain confidence and get support in doing the most difficult job of being Mum and Dad.”