New report highlights true impact of parent-infant relationship teams

26 September 2023

Front cover of report

A new report launched today by the Parent-Infant Foundation has highlighted that more specialised support is crucial for the mental health and wellbeing of babies and their families across the UK.

‘The Impact of Parent-Infant Relationship Teams’ is the first report to pull together current research and evidence from a range of sources, on the impact of specialised parent-infant relationship teams. 

With rates of mental health conditions in young children rising and many falling behind in developmental and early learning goals, the evidence supports growing the number of specialised parent-infant teams to meet the needs of babies and young children.

The report summarises recent academic research, local service evaluations and NICE guidance.  This shows that parent-infant teams consistently help babies and their caregivers across three key domains:

1. Strengthening relationships between babies and their carers,

2. Improving the mental health of caregivers and

3. Supporting babies’ early development and wellbeing (including those at most risk)

These inter-related domains are critically important for the healthy development of babies now and for future outcomes, and this is beginning to be recognised by decision-makers.

The number of specialised teams has grown to 45, with 14 more in development. But despite progress, the report concludes that many more teams are needed to support babies and their families.

Ben Yeo, Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Clinical Advisor at the Parent-Infant Foundation said:

“This is the first report to bring together the latest evidence, from a range of sources, on the impact of parent-infant relationship teams.  It shows the positive impact these services make on babies and families – strengthening relationships, improving mental health and supporting early child development.

“In my clinical practice I see both the distress and suffering of babies and their caregivers, and the transformative effect of specialist interventions that can be offered by specialised parent-infant relationship teams, which support their relationship.”

The report is available on the Parent-Infant Foundation website 

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