New Orleans Intervention Model Reducing the risk of abuse and neglect
Babies and toddlers thrive in relationships where they receive warm, nurturing and responsive care.
Children need a loving, secure and stable home to give them the best start in life. It can be really disruptive for them when they move in and out of care, between birth parents and temporary foster carers.
Experiencing abuse and neglect increases the risk that a child will develop mental and physical health problems. This places an enormous burden on individuals, families and society.
However, some of these effects can be reversed if children are placed in secure, loving homes early enough in life.
Helping professionals make the right decision
The New Orleans Intervention Model, first developed in the USA, helps social workers and judges decide whether a child should stay with their birth family or enter care permanently.
Our aim is to help reunite the child with their family where possible, or place them permanently into care if not.
The New Orleans Intervention Model puts a child's attachment relationships at the heart of decision making, ensuring they experience a positive and secure care setting as early in life as possible, ultimately leading to improvements in their mental health and wellbeing.
How it works
Following referral to the service. a team of specialists in infant mental health and social care work with the families of children under 5 who've been abused and placed in foster care.
Over a 9-15 month period, the team provides:
- detailed attachment-based assessments of the child and their parents
- assessment of how well the child is developing
- an assessment of each parent's health and wellbeing, including mental health, any addiction issues, and the parent's exposure to trauma or violence
- tailored therapeutic support to address problems and strengthen the parent-child relationship
We help birth parents understand how their own early experiences affect them, the importance of their role as parents, and how they can make sure their children are safe and protected.
"I didn't feel as though I was in control of my life… I was constantly being told by adults that I had to do things I didn't want to do."
Read Annie's story
Evaluating the impact
Find out how we're evaluating New Orleans Intervention Model.
More about our services
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Are You There?
We're calling on the government to help our Childline service be there for every child dealing with meantal health issues.