Covid-19 and working together
19 March 2020
We find ourselves in unchartered waters and the Parent-Infant Foundation appreciates how unsettling the current situation is for everyone at both work and at home. This includes specialised parent-infant relationship teams. We know that families with multiple disadvantages are, and will be, facing significant challenges in the coming months and possibly beyond. These are families you are supporting and will be wanting to continue working with, where possible, albeit in an adapted way. We also understand that teams operating within different structures i.e. NHS, voluntary organisation, local authority etc. will be facing possibly different challenges in how they operate and what they are able to do to keep themselves and their beneficiaries safe and contained amid the Covid-19 crisis. We know you will as a team be working hard to do what is feasible.
We are aware that the virus has caused and will be causing disruption now and in the future. We can’t promise to have the solutions you need, however, it is important that our values shine through in what we do in our work with you. Love, respect, integrity and hope will guide us in our response and if anything, we want to strengthen our relationship with you and your organisation.
Our core purpose is to support the growth and quality of specialised parent-infant relationship teams across the UK. Where staff here are well and working, we will continue to do this as best as we can through the following ways:
• supporting the Parent-Infant Network to connect and find solutions to common challenges and share successes. We have the first virtual space for charity-based Teams on Tuesday 24th March at midday. If you would like to join this and haven’t already received an email from us, please drop Beckie or Karen a line by email. We will see how this goes and look to continue to offer virtual spaces for peers to share ideas in how they support their families and ways in which challenges are being considered.
• continuing to raise the needs of babies and very young children with policymakers and decision-makers through our policy and campaigning work. This includes continuing to highlight the positive and needed work of specialised parent-infant teams, and the ongoing development of the First 1001 Days Movement. This is as important as ever, and probably more so, as we know that the needs of babies and very young children are typically often forgotten, not prioritised, and ignored at the best of times. We will continue to give them a voice during this time. Many of our meetings are continuing, just in a virtual space rather than face to face.
• Maintaining our presence on social media through our communications to share knowledge and expertise relating to the work of Teams and babies social and emotional needs.
In terms of specific activities and how you might be affected in the coming weeks:
The Network event on April 22nd in Taunton will not happen face to face. We are however exploring what is feasible as a virtual gathering and will be in touch as soon as possible. Please can you hold the date.
We are still working to the next Network event in early July, in Newcastle, being held as planned in person. We will follow guidance as the picture unfolds and keep you posted.
This remains a central hub of information for those interested in what we do, where local specialised teams are, and for resources to support areas wanting to maintain, set-up or develop a local parent-infant team. This is where we will post updates as things unfold and guidance shifts.
Contact with the Parent-Infant Foundation:
As a home working team, we are already equipped to adapt to the current guidance. We will be conducting video-based meetings and phone calls much more though than travelling in person. We will continue to do this, and welcome opportunities to connect with you and others during this time of social distancing. This will remain available while staff are well and working.
Your thoughts matter
We are here and want to help in any way we can. Please let us know if, and when it is the right time for you to have a chat – you know your organisation and beneficiaries best and we are here to listen.