Family Connects International Launches as Standalone Nonprofit, Emphasizes Commitment to Build Local Communities of Support for Families with Newborns
Durham, NC- After a 14-year partnership at Duke University, Family Connects International (FCI) has launched as an independent nonprofit. The transition from a home nurse-visiting pilot initiative to a nonprofit organization enables it to expand services to reach more families with newborns and to provide a higher level of support to community partners across the U.S. that implement the evidence-based Family Connects Model.
Family Connects International connects mothers and families with newborns to nurses trained in the Family Connects (FC) Model, who in turn, connect them to community care systems for optimal maternal-child health and support during their earliest days at home.
The FC Model was established in 2008 through a partnership with the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy, the Center for Child & Family Health, and the Durham County Health Department. It was designed to support whole-person, integrated health for all families of newborns. FCI nurses visit with families at their home to assess newborns, mothers, and other household family members to discuss concrete next steps to address opportunities and concerns, including seeking immediate medical care when necessary. The model is in various stages of exploring, planning, implementation, and certification in communities across 18 states, where it aims to connect with at least 80 percent of the newborn families.
“The passion and commitment of our staff alongside the rigorous research and refinement of the Family Connects (FC) Model among our partners at Duke University over [the years] has established the FC as a highly successful and evidence-based program,” said Executive Director, Sherika Hill, PhD, MHA. “As an independent organization, we can scale the FC Model to reach more families in communities by providing enhanced services to partners on how to implement the Model through tailored programming, evaluation, and policy engagement.”
Participation in local Family Connects programming is voluntary for families with newborns as well as members of community advisory boards that help to maximize connections within local community care systems. FCI supports community partners with five main services:
- Adherence to the Family Connects evidence-based model with standardized practices,
- A free nurse-home visiting program offered to all families of newborns in a participating community,
- A community alignment framework and tool to develop and support a network of community-based resources,
- Local, state and national policy engagement to support sustainability of local programming, and
- Continuous quality improvement driven by transparent data and reporting.
“Our goal at Family Connects International is to ensure that each and every newborn and their family—including foster, adoptive, and bereaved parents—has access to essential connections needed for equitable outcomes,” said Dr. Hill. “We will deliver on that goal by expanding access to the FC Model, rooted in a universal approach for each and every newborn.”
About Family Connects International
Family Connects International (FCI) is committed to strengthening bonds within families of newborns and linking them directly to supportive community care resources. Our vision is a world with equitable outcomes for each and every newborn. FCI works to expand access to Family Connects, an evidence-based model that provides vital in-home clinical care by nurses and referrals to local supports for newborns and their family members. The model is designed to support optimal maternal-child health and advance equitable outcomes, while promoting better aligned community care systems. FCI trains community partners across the U.S. on how to implement tailored programming, evaluation, and policy engagement. We invite you to join us and learn more about what this exciting news means for our organization, community partners, foundation supporters, and our community at large. Visit www.familyconnects.org and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates. Let’s Connect!