How Do CAPC & CPNP Programs Impact the Health of Canadians?
Helping Ensure Healthy Birth Weights
A newborn baby weighing less than 5.5 lbs is at a much greater risk of death, disease and disability, has much higher hospitalization rates and is more likely to experience chronic disease and/or acute illnesses in adulthood than a baby over 5.5 lbs. The risk of low birth weight is substantially higher among women with low incomes. CAPC & CPNP work with women with low incomes to help ensure they have healthy birth weight babies.
“It is estimated that lifetime costs to treat each low birth weight baby is$675,000. By preventing just 40 low birth weights, total costs for CPNP would be recovered.”
Kelly Stone, Director, Division of Childhood and Adolescence, Health Canada“
An estimated one in 100 Canadian babies -- about 4,000 a year -- is born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Children presently living in Canada with FASD will cost the system $300 - $600 billion! CAPC and CPNP programs work with vulnerable women to reduce drinking during pregnancy, and lower FASD rates.
Promoting Good Parenting & Mental Health
Children of moms with limited parenting skills, especially teen mothers, are at greater risk for mental health problems. Mental health problems among children and youth are predicted to increase substantially over the next 15 years, and are important precursors of adult mental health disorders. Upwards of $30 billion a year is lost to the Canadian economy annually due to mental health and addictions problems. CAPC & CPNP work with high risk mothers and teen moms to increase their parenting and coping skills.
“This program is especially important for immigrant women who don’t have family, friends and knowledge of the Canadian health system. It was through the CPNP program that I was able to talk to a nurse about my severe post partum depression. It saved my life.” Mother, CPNP
Increasing School Readiness
Children from vulnerable families often have less access to school readiness programs. Children entering school unready are more likely to repeat a grade, require special education services, drop out before graduation, and in adulthood have higher crime rates, be unemployed and be less healthy. CAPC & CPNP help vulnerable families access and benefit from school readiness initiatives.
“We are seeing the difference School’s Cool makes! 4 years ago, we ran our first course with 16 children who hadbeen removed from kindergarten and this year [in grade3], they’ve all scored at or above the Provincial Standard! Without School’s Cool, they wouldn’t have made it!” Jane Thompson, Coordinator, Family & Community Action Program
Reducing Obesity Through Breastfeeding
Newborns who are breastfed for the first six months of life are dramatically less likely to become obese during childhood and youth than formula-fed babies. Obesity can lead to conditions such as stroke, diabetes heart disease and other chronic diseases.
CAPC and CPNP help vulnerable women initiate and continue breastfeeding.
Pregnant women and mothers of young children, in particular those with low income and education, have the highest smoking rates. Smoking is directly related to acute and chronic disease in adults and children. CAPC & CPNP reach low income pregnant women and new moms and encourage smoke-free environments.
Increasing Food Security
Children who are living in poverty and experiencing food insecurity may develop serious health risks including limited physical, mental, and social growth, and are at increased risk of being involved with the child welfare system. CAPC and CPNP help vulnerable families access, cook and eat nutritious food, and link them with other resources.
“I am on social assistance and after I pay my rent and buy diapers and formula for my baby, I literally have $30 left for food and transportation. I came to this program a hurt, depressed, messed up girl and I was pregnant. I had no friends, no support and no finances. This program helped pick me up and give me self esteem I am forever grateful for Umbrellas program as I feel it has saved my life.” Mother, CAPC
Children with highly involved fathers have higher IQs, better peer relationships, are better academic achievers, have lower levels of depression, and when they grow up are more likely to have higher levels of income, higher education and less criminal activity.
CAPC & CPNP have been internationally recognized for raising awareness about the benefits of father involvement.
"Investing in disadvantaged young children is a rare public policy initiative that promotes fairness and social justice and at the same time promotes productivity in the economy and in society at large. Early interventions targeted toward disadvantaged children have much higher returns than later interventions such as reduced pupil-teacher ratios, public job training, convict rehabilitation programs, tuition subsidies, or expenditure on police."
James J. Heckman, Skill Formation and the Economics of Investing in Disadvantaged Children, Science 30, June 2006: Vol 312
Created by the Ontario Coalition of CAPC & CPNP Projects, 2006
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- How Do CAPC & CPNP Programs Impact the Health of Canadians?