Bulgaria and Northern Ireland Sharing Similar Challenges and Achievements in Home Visiting

A TSA team working under the home visiting program Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) has returned from study visit in Northern Ireland. It is one of the countries, along with Australia, England, Scotland, USA and Canada, implementing the same NFP model.

The manager of the program in Bulgaria, together with the supervisors of the 2 teams of nurses working in Sofia and Plovdiv, participated in the annual learning event of the teams in Northern Ireland. This year the topic was maternal mental health.

The Bulgarian representatives met with young mothers at risk and their babies enrolled in the program. The nurses exchanged experience regarding their fieldwork in both countries – home visits from the pregnancy phase until the 2nd birthday of the child.

Colleagues in Northern Ireland deliver the NFP service to girls of age up to 19 years expecting their first baby, and the challenges the teams face are similar to those of their Bulgarian peers – building trust with young women, maintaining their engagement in the program, working with other family members, emotional burnout. However, the success at the end of the program is also similar - healthy children and grateful moms who gained confidence and knowledge in their parenting role and steps to economic independence.

We look forward to more opportiunities to share good practices on international level in order to support more families in need by implementing the most effective program for maternal and infant health in the world.