Minding the Baby is a model used by the NSPCC to help first time mothers develop positive relationships with their baby.
Minding the Baby is an early intervention programme designed to enhance the mother’s relationship with her child.
Minding the Baby involves an interdisciplinary, intensive, home visiting programme working with young, first-time mothers and their families that lasts until the child’s second birthday.
Maternal trauma, mental health problems and social disadvantage can disrupt parent-child relationships. Disrupted parent-child relationships can result in attachment difficulties, behavioural, language and learning difficulties as well as destructive family and social relationships, including domestic abuse and child abuse (Howe, 1999).
The Minding the Baby programme, developed by Yale University, provides intensive support to young, first-time mothers to enable them to care for their baby.
It is based on attachment theory and places particular emphasis on improving maternal reflective capacities (a mother's ability to understand and respond appropriately to her baby's emotional needs).
The programme involves alternating home visits between a nurse, and a social worker or suitably qualified therapist. Visits begin weekly from the mother’s final trimester until the child’s first birthday. Visits continue throughout the child’s second year on a fortnightly basis.
The nurse provides ongoing help in relation to health and care-giving, whilst the social worker/therapist provides infant and parent mental health services and social services support.
Both practitioners provide developmental guidance, crisis intervention, parenting support and practical support.
These home visits aim to keep the mother aware of her baby's physical and mental states and to enhance her reflective functioning by continuously voicing the baby's emotions and intentions.
The NSPCC delivers Minding the Baby as part of a randomised control trial in partnership with University College London in Glasgow, Sheffield and York.
To qualify for the service, mothers must meet ALL of the criteria below:
Means-tested benefits means any of the following:
For more information about the study, please contact the NSPCC, 0808 800 5000, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to make an enquiry with regard to referrals, please contact:
Glasgow: Lucy Morton, 0141 440 6300
Sheffield: Karen Bates, 0114 228 9200
York: Debra Radford, 0844 892 0226
In order to understand the impact of this service on improving outcomes for children, we will be undertaking rigorous monitoring and evaluation, as part of the randomised control trial, and sharing the findings of this.
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