The Parent-Infant Foundation’s Response to the Care Review
23 May 2022
We welcome today’s Care Review, which sets out an ambitious vision for our most vulnerable babies, children and young people.
This is one of a number of reviews, including Dame Andrea Leadsom’s Start for Life Review, to recognise the huge importance of relationships. Secure, nurturing relationships between babies and their parents are a fundamental building block to protect children from the impact of adversity, disadvantage and poor life outcomes. Skilled support for these relationships when in difficulty – such as that provided by specialised parent-infant relationship teams – reduces risk and should be “baked in” to the future Family Help offer in all local areas.
We add our voice to those calling for Government to implement the reforms, and for a commitment to ambitious, long-term investment to deliver them effectively. This investment must not only cover Family Help services, but also the wider services that help families such as health visiting and mental health services. This will enable the whole system to work effectively to ensure families can receive the right support and the right time.
We also call for a holistic cross-Government vision for all our babies, children and young people. This should pull together NHS reforms to maternity and mental health services; the Start for Life agenda, and changes to Family Help and social care, as well as wider measures to tackle the cost of living crisis. These important change programmes must be joined-up to maximise efficiencies, provide clarity to local systems and – most importantly – to create effective public services that ensure every baby, child and young person has the best start in life, whatever their needs.
Sally Hogg, Deputy Chief Executive of the Parent-Infant Foundation, said:
“The Care Review recognises the central importance of relationships. Support for the vital relationships between children and their parents – such as that provided by specialised parent-infant relationship teams – must form part of the offer available to families receiving Family Help in the future. The proposed reforms must also be accompanied by investment in the wider system that supports babies and their families – services like health visitors and mental health support.”