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Building Blocks 2

Building Blocks 2-6: Evaluating the long-term effectiveness, and the cost and consequences of the Family Nurse Partnership parenting support programme in reducing maltreatment in young children

Background | The Original Trial

A programme of home visiting by specially trained nurses (called the Family Nurse Partnership or FNP) aims to support teenagers expecting their first child. The programme is currently being compared to usual health and social care in a project involving 18 English centres which followed children until they were two years old [ See Building Blocks Trial ].

The FNP programme has been shown to reduce child maltreatment in US studies, but has not yet been assessed for effectiveness in England - where care usually provided to families is likely to be quite different.

Whilst evidence of short term effects of FNP is currently being generated from the original trial, the potential programme benefits – in particular for child maltreatment, have largely been evidenced in the longer term (beyond the first two years).

Study aim

The objective of this follow-on study is to evaluate the longer-term impact of the FNP intervention upon child maltreatment outcomes and neglect.

It will follow up the same women (a total of 1570) and their children for a further four years until their child is six years.

Methods | Data linkage

This is a data linkage project and will not involve any further data collection from individual participants. Data instead will be accessed from routine data sources held by governmental departments (Department of Health, Department for Education – also referred to as information centres). Data currently available includes hospital admissions & attendance, social care data and education data.

Upon approval for access to these data sources, the information centres will:

  • Match the study participants to their datasources;
  • Link hospital, education and social care datafor these participants;
  • Send this data to SAIL - our trusted third party;
  • SAIL will anonymise the data and then make itavailable to the BB:2-6 study team for cleaning and analysis.

* All data will be held on a secure system within SAIL and individuals will not be identified. SAIL [Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank] are based within the Health Informatics Group, Swansea University *

The first wave of data collection from routine records will incorporate a formal pilot to:

  • Develop and validate the process of data captureand data access approvals;
  • To verify data linkage for all informationcentres;
  • To develop a data management protocol;
  • To develop statistical scripts for the mainanalysis.

This first wave will be carried out from October 2014 to mid-2015. The second wave will be carried out once all children have reached the age of six – in 2017.


Full Co-ordination

Study Type

This is follow-on study from the Building Blocks Trial. It will use data linkage of routinely collected data to follow the participants up.


National Institute for Health Research, Public Health Research [NIHR PHR]


Children and Young people

Key data

Start date
Feb. 1, 2014
End date
May 31, 2018
Grant value
General enquiries
Dr Fiona Lugg
Chief investigators
Dr Michael Robling

External links