Unlocking change

Parent-Infant Foundation

The Parent-Infant Foundation brings together the infant and mental health sector through collaborative leadership – enabling them to share learning and provide support to each other. They also bridge the gap between academics, professionals and decision-makers to drive changes that will lead to better relationships between babies and their parents.

Parent-Infant Foundation works with specialist parent-infant services across the UK to support shared learning and quality improvement in the whole sector. They work to build a strong evidence base to make the case for change using impact data and research, and campaign for policy change for more families to get specialist support – both promoting early childhood development and reducing the need for social services intervention.

They have been instrumental in the First 1001 Days Movement, coordinating a coalition of organisations and professionals working together to campaign about the importance of the emotional wellbeing of babies.

Parent-Infant Foundation also works with commissioners and other local partners to establish or retain parent-infant services.

Connection to Esmée's strategy

Long-term outcomes
  • A shift in early years provision to ensure that young children (0-5) and their families facing barriers have quality support.

We deliver free resources, events, training and advice to health professionals who want to set up a new parent-infant relationship team or improve an existing service. From the evaluations undertaken by parent-infant relationship teams, we know these specialist mental health professionals can work with parents and babies to improve their mental health and well-being, and to help them create secure, sensitive and nurturing relationships. Where recorded, this early assistance with their relationships can help prevent families in the greatest need requiring further intervention from social services later in the baby’s life. We also reach out to policy makers and commissioners, to explain the need for services that address the impact of parental trauma, substance abuse, domestic violence, or mental ill health on parents’ ability to respond to their baby’s needs consistently, and effectively. Perhaps most importantly, we give a voice to these incredibly vulnerable babies. Consequently, there are now two large national government programmes focused on improving parent-infant relationships. And significant growth in these services is planned in the coming years.

Keith Reed, CEO, Parent-Infant Foundation

Learn more