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CPBF believes that education is essential to enable parents to feel confident and comfortable to parent their baby (babies), in the NICU and beyond. 

We work closely with researchers, clinicians and past NICU parents to ensure all our materials are current and evidence-based (proven). 

Family Integrated Care, FICare, is an extension of the principles of Family Centred Care. It is an actionable model by which parents are true partners in their baby’s care, even when in the NICU.

This model was the result of research developed by a healthcare team and parents who had previously been in the NICU (described as veteran parents). The results of integrating parents into their baby’s care team has been described in this paper:


Effectiveness of Family Integrated Care in neonatal intensive care units on infant and parent outcomes: a multicentre, multinational, cluster-randomised controlled trial.

Feb 7, 2018 The Lancet. Child & Adolescent Health

Despite evidence suggesting that parent involvement was beneficial for infant and parent outcomes, the Family Integrated Care (FICare) programme was one of the first pragmatic approaches to enable parents to become primary caregivers in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The effect of FICare on infant and parent outcomes, safety, and resource use was analysed.

CPBF has been supporting FICare since its inception with peer training programs and education for families in the NICU and following discharge.


Our goal is to facilitate a partnership and collaboration between parents and the NICU staff, to promote parent-infant interactions, and to build parent confidence. This is achieved by promoting information sharing between staff and parents and by parent participation in their baby’s care. Under the FICare model, parents are taught to be involved in all possible aspects of care (e.g., feeding, changing diapers, bathing, providing oral medications), tracking growth and progress, decision-making, and taking part in medical rounds.

Parental involvement in rounds supports parents in their partnership with the care team, helps them understand and participate in care decisions, and helps to strengthen relationships with the medical team. Parents are provided with support and education to provide care for their infant and grow into their roles as care providers for their infants.


Why we support FICare

Research suggests that babies admitted to the NICU and cared for under the FICare model:

  • grow faster and have less stress

  • spend fewer days in the NICU

  • are less likely to be readmitted to hospital after discharge, compared to infants cared for primarily by staff.

  • are more likely to be breastfed and for a longer time, which provides a host of long-term health benefits.


The improved confidence and skills of parents in FICare increases parental readiness for the transition from hospital to home, improves management abilities at home, and lowers parental anxiety. Finally, parental involvement helps staff feel more confident in the abilities of the parent, which will help facilitate getting everyone home as soon as possible.

Parental presence in the NICU

Your presence and participation in the care of your baby is very important for both you and your baby health and outcomes and hopefully FICare has shown you why.

What can you do in the NICU?

  • Hand-Holding or providing kangaroo care

  • Performing daily cares such as feeding, changing diapers, taking temperatures, bathing and providing oral medications

  • Taking part in daily medical rounds

  • Charting your baby’s growth and progress

  • Attending educational sessions and bedside teaching with your baby’s nurse

  • Spending time with speaking with a ‘veteran’/ peer-parent.  CPBF offers weekly virtual peer sessions – LINK here: 

  • Ask your doctors and nurses about FICare and how you can partner with them in the NICU.

For more information including videos and downloadable brochures visit:

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