The South Carolina Nurse-Family Partnership Study is a landmark evaluation of the effects of a large-scale nurse home visiting program for mothers and their children. 

The national Nurse-Family Partnership program launched in South Carolina in 2009 to improve maternal and child health outcomes for low-income families. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services led an innovative expansion of the Nurse-Family Partnership home visiting services between 2016 and 2020 to scale services statewide and learn about the program’s impacts. The expansion of Nurse-Family Partnership services was enabled by a Pay for Success contract that coupled $17 million in philanthropic funding with a Medicaid waiver that supported the project’s costs. This expansion took Nurse-Family Partnership from serving 1,200 mothers in 27 counties in 2016 before the launch of Pay for Success, to serving a total of 3,794 mothers in 32 counties over the next four years. 

As part of the project, the State commissioned the landmark South Carolina Nurse-Family Partnership Study to rigorously evaluate the program’s effects, and agreed to make success payments to fund further home visiting services if pre-determined success metrics were met. The study team is using South Carolina’s linked administrative data system to track a wide range of outcomes related to families’ health and well-being over many decades. 

Analysis of the impact of the program on outcomes related to maternal and neonatal health (see results) was published in July 2022. Analysis of the impact of NFP on secondary prenatal outcomes was published in August 2023 (see results). The impact of the program on maternal life course, child health and development, and other longer-term outcomes will be released when the data are fully available.  


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The Study

This evaluation will measure the effects of the Nurse-Family Partnership’s program delivered at scale to Medicaid enrollees.

The Pay for Success Partnership

The Pay for Success project enabled Nurse-Family Partnership to reach nearly 4,000 new first-time mothers across South Carolina.

What We Are Learning

This project will add to prior evidence by estimating the Nurse-Family Partnership’s. impact on mothers and babies in today’s context and at scale.