PRESS RELEASE from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 26, 2007
CONTACT: Ryan Sullivan at (512) 463-0119

Senator Uresti Continues Child Abuse Prevention Work in Bipartisan Effort

AUSTIN -- Senator Carlos Uresti has co-authored Senate Bill 156 with Senator Florence Shapiro, and a bipartisan group of state senators and representatives, to expand a proven child abuse prevention program throughout the State of Texas.

With a track record of success spanning several decades, the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) targets young, single, first-time mothers who voluntarily participate in the program. NFP improves pregnancy outcomes and reduces child abuse and neglect by helping women engage in good preventive health practices and obtaining prenatal care during their pregnancy. NFP also assists with nutrition and diet, and helps young mothers reduce the use of harmful substances. In-home visits with registered nurses help link first-time mothers with community resources that can reduce the stress of motherhood, plan for future births, and obtain education and/or job training.

"Texas' child abuse prevention efforts are minimally funded, and most state funded efforts do not reach children or young mothers at their most vulnerable stages in life. I have been working to make the Nurse-Family Partnership one of Texas' tools to fight child abuse and neglect since I served in the Texas House as the Chairman of the Committee on Human Services. I am gratified to join together with my colleague, Senator Shapiro, to continue this effort in the Texas Senate. I am confident we will succeed this Session," Uresti said.

The Nurse-Family Partnership extends significant benefits to children who participate in the program: it has created a 48% reduction in child abuse and neglect; a 59% reduction in arrests of children; and a 90% reduction in adjudications for incorrigible behavior. Mothers who participate benefit as well, with 61% fewer arrests; 72% fewer convictions; and 98% fewer days in jail.

"The return on each dollar we spend on the Nurse-Family Partnership is $2.88. But there is no way to quantify the value of saving a child from the ravages of abuse and neglect," Senator Uresti stated. "We need a full arsenal of programs to fight child abuse at every turn. While I will be proposing more prevention programs soon, I believe this program is one of the most important legislative items we will consider this year."

For more information, please contact Ryan Sullivan at 512-463-0119. To learn more about the Nurse-Family Partnership, visit http://www.nursefamilypartnership.org.

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