Policy and practice : the impact of the NSW government's Families First Strategy on child and family health nursing
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Child and family health services in NSW are a well established component of community health services. Child and family health nurses provide parenting support, health surveillance and early intervention for families with infants and young children. Contemporary child and family health services have been influenced by international research and trends in delivery of services to families with young children. The NSW Government introduced a comprehensive social program known as the Families First Strategy in 1999. This large State wide policy involved a whole of government approach to providing coordinated services to children and families. As a part of the Families First Strategy, NSW Health introduced Health Home Visiting for families with new babies, to be implemented through the community child and family health nursing network. This research study describes the development and implementation of the Families First Strategy and related health policies in child and family health nursing services in NSW from a nursing perspective. It provides a baseline description of contemporary child and family health nursing in NSW and examines the impact of the health policies on nursing practice in two Area Health Services. The research study explores the potential of child and family health nurses to influence health policy in respect of children and families and proposes recommendations and further research to inform the development of nursing leadership in child and family health nursing practice, education and policy.
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