Evaluating the long-term effectiveness, and the cost and consequences of the Family Nurse Partnership parenting support programme in reducing maltreatment in young children.


This study is designed to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme. The FNP programme aims to support teenagers expecting their first child and has been shown to reduce child abuse and neglect in the longer term in US studies. There has previously been one evaluation of the FNP programme in England called Building Blocks Trial, but this only looked at the short term effectiveness, this followed mothers and their children until the child’s second birthday. The current study will follow up the same mothers (a total of 1562) and their children for a further four years until the child is 6 years old, therefore this study will measure whether the FNP programme reduces child maltreatment in the longer-term.

Activities and Methods

This is a data linkage study, this means that researchers will access the medical and education records of the mothers and their children and link these records to the data collected in the Building Blocks Trial. The data that the researchers see will be pseudonymised, this means that they will not be able to identify any individual in the data set.

Members of the public will be involved in the study in various ways. The main involvement will come from three groups, CASCADE Voices are a group of care-experienced young people, the ‘Our Place’ group is a network of young parents with young children, and finally a group of graduates of the FNP programme who were not part of the Building Blocks Trial will also be involved. These three groups represent broadly the participants who take part in the study, for example they are similar in age.  These groups will advise on a broad range of topics from study design to dissemination of the results. There is also an independent lay representative on the study steering committee (SSC).

Lead Person

Principal InvestigatorProfessor Mike Robling
Related SchoolsCardiff University
FundersNIHR Public Health Research Programme
Related publicationsOwen-Jones, C. E.et al. 2013. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Family Nurse Partnership home visiting programme for first time teenage mothers in England: a protocol for the Building Blocks randomised controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics 13(114)
Robling, M. R.et al. 2016. Effectiveness of a nurse-led intensive home-visitation programme for first-time teenage mothers (Building Blocks): a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 387(10014), pp. 146-155. 
Robling, M.et al. 2016. Effectiveness of a nurse-led intensive home-visitation program for first-time teenage mothers (building blocks). Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 71(5), pp. 263-265.
Channon, S.et al. 2016. Motivational interviewing competencies among UK family nurse partnership nurses: a process evaluation component of the building blocks trial. BMC Nursing 15(1), pp. 55.
Corbacho, B.et al. 2017. Cost-effectiveness of the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme in England: evidence from the building blocks trial. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 23(6), pp. 1367-1374.
Robling, M.et al. 2018. What is usual care for teenagers expecting their first child in England? A process evaluation using key informant mapping and participant survey as part of the Building Blocks randomised controlled trial of specialist home visiting. BMJ Open 8(5), article number: e020152.
Related linksBuilding Blocks