Thurston County to Receive Champion for Children Award from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Submitted by Thurston County Board of County Commissioners

On October 30, 2018 at 2:00 p.m., the Board of County Commissioners will be presented with the Champion for Children award from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids for the County’s commitment to advancing home visiting through the Nurse-Family Partnership program (NFP).

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is a national organization made up of police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, and violence survivors that promote solutions to steer kids away from crime. One of its top priorities is expanding home visiting, which is a proven way to support and strengthen families in the first years of life. Trained home visitors and parents work together to address prenatal care, infant care, child development, and parenting skills. Research has long proven the many benefits of home visiting, including reduced child abuse and neglect, and reduced crime and domestic violence.

Thurston County serves as the ‘backbone’ for an innovative Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program with Lewis and Mason Counties where the nurse visitor is an employee of Thurston County and provides services in the two other counties. Since January, the NFP has served 339 families, making 3205 home visits and seeing 97 babies born.

“We are very humbled to receive this award and are very proud of the NFP program,” said Commissioner Chair, Bud Blake. “We want to thank all of the NFP nurses who are amazing at what they do for these families as well as serving as ambassadors for home visiting. They took legislators on home visits to see the benefits of the program first hand, resulting in legislative support of a 40% increase in state funding for home visiting in 2018.”

Thurston County Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members include Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim, Sheriff John Snaza (both scheduled to be at the October 30 Board of Commissioners meeting), Olympia Chief Ronnie Roberts, Tumwater Chief Jon Weiks and Yelm Chief Todd Stancil.

Featured photo credit: Diane Waiste

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