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Runner’s Nurse Family Partnership Legislation Signed into Law

Law Enacts Accountability-Based Public Private Partnership to Help Mothers & Children

(SACRAMENTO) --- Senator George Runner's (R-Antelope Valley) legislation to establish a public-private partnership for the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Saturday. 
 
 "This new law establishes the Nurse Family Partnership program which will provide grants to local communities through a public private partnership.  This program has strict accountability and has proven results," said Runner. 
 
Senate Bill 1596 would establish a fund for private donations where eligible counties can apply to receive grants for these programs. Counties that apply to the fund must provide a 50 percent match.  The fund will be administered through Department of Health Services (DHS) and these services would be paid for by the donations.
 
Nurse Family Partnerships have proven to be successful nationwide.  The NFP is the most rigorously tested program of its kind.  Research concluded that NFP mothers are less likely to abuse or neglect their children, have subsequent unintended pregnancies, or misuse alcohol or drugs; and they are more likely to transition off welfare and successfully maintain stable employment.  A 1997 RAND study examined the benefits for children and their families enrolled in early childhood intervention programs.  The study found that NFP generated increased employment; decreased welfare enrollment, including in Medicaid, Food Stamps and Aid to Families with Dependent Children; reduced expenditures for education, health, and other services, including special education, emergency room visits, and stays in homeless shelters; and, lower criminal justice system costs, from arrest, adjudication, and incarceration.  
 
The Rand Corporation has independently estimated that the cost-savings to society and government over the child's lifetime were at least four times greater, among high-risk participants, than the cost of the program itself and these savings began to accumulate sooner than they did in other early childhood programs.  The analysis indicated a net savings to government of $18,611 per family in 1996 dollars, which was over four times the cost of NFP.
 
SB 1596 (Chapter 878) will go into effect January 1, 2007.