CDU’s College of Nursing and Midwifery has been named the official Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) National Support Service, following a successful tender submission last year.
The ANFPP is a government-funded nurse-led home visiting program that supports women pregnant with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children.
The College will deliver the workforce training program and professional support activities to support the implementation of the ANFPP in 13 sites across Australia until 2022, with the option to extend until 2025.
As part of its role, the College will work collaboratively with the Department of Health and the University of Colorado, USA, along with other organisations delivering the ANFPP and program reference groups.
National Program Director and Professor of Primary Healthcare, Sue Kruske, says the College submitted the tender with the aim of expanding and strengthening the function and capacity of the support service, which would in turn, expand the function and capacity of the program itself, at the 13 nominated sites.
“As well as the core functions of the Support Service, we hope to lever other aspects of the university, including the development of education pathways and formal academic recognition for both nurses and midwives, but also the Indigenous Family Partnership workers,” says Professor Kruske.
“In addition, we have committed to having 50 per cent of Indigenous workers working within the Support Service, and we commit to supporting those workers to achieve formal education qualifications.”
The success of the tender is a significant win for CDU, as it recognises the university’s high-quality expertise in Indigenous maternal and child health, and the important role nurses and midwives have in this area.
Professor Kruske says the ANFPP is a critical program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities due to its long-term focus.
“The ANFPP is important because it is a long-term relationship-based program - from early to pregnancy to the child’s second birthday,” Professor Kruske says.
The 5 guiding principles for the program are
- Follow your heart’s desire
- You are the expert in your own life
- Only a small change is necessary
- Focus on strengths
- Focus on solutions
Because the program does not directly provide clinical care, it’s imperative that CDU work in partnership with health and human services that do.
“It is a common misconception that the program does the work of maternity and child and family health services, but it doesn’t,” says Professor Kruske.
“It supports and facilitates access to whatever services the woman and her family needs, which can include housing, human services, health services etc.
“Although it is not a clinical program, the nurses and Indigenous Family Partnership workers walk alongside the women, and support them to be the best mum they can be, whatever it looks like for them.”