The Nurse-Family Partnership (NPF) is an evidence-based nurse home visitation program for first-time mothers who meet specific eligibility criteria during their pregnancy and children’s infancy. While NFP has been evaluated in three RCTs in the United States, none of these studies has focused on Texas. Because the program’s implementation and the participants change across states, it is essential to understand the effectiveness of NFP in Texas. Texas leaders have invested substantial state dollars in NFP and are understandably seeking to understand this investment’s impact.
- Policy question: What is the impact of NFP on key maternal and child health outcomes? What is the return on investment for the state of Texas?
- Methodology: The Texas Policy Lab has conducted an extensive descriptive analysis of Texas’s NFP program and highlighted various program patterns. Upon discussions with DFPS leaders, we have moved forward with the design of an evaluation. The design utilizes an instrumental variables (quasi-experimental) approach, in which we exploit the distance between a mother’s home to the closest headquarters of NFP. This distance impacts a mother’s propensity to participate in the program, but not maternal and child health outcomes. To implement this methodology, we will merge NFP participant data with birth certificate and Medicaid data.
- Results and impact: This evaluation is still in progress. We expect the results of the evaluation to impact future funding decisions of the program.