The Parent-Infant Foundation’s response to the Government announcing the 75 local authorities pre-selected for family hubs

02 April 2022

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Today’s announcement of the 75 local authorities to receive funding to help deliver the Government’s Start for Life Vision is a welcome first step to ensuring that every baby in the UK is given the best possible start in life. For this to happen, the money allocated to these communities must be spent wisely to ensure sustainable and effective changes are made to services for babies and their families.


Parent-infant relationships are vital for babies’ development and supporting this needs to be a top priority in every local authority area. To achieve this, specialised  Parent-Infant Relationship Teams (also known as Parent-Infant Mental Health Services) must be part of the local Start for Life offer in every area. These highly skilled, multidisciplinary teams not only offer therapeutic support to families with the most complex needs, but also provide consultation and supervision to other local services, such as health visitors and midwives, GPs, and social workers, enabling all services to work more effectively to protect and promote infant mental health. We look forward to supporting local commissioners to develop specialised parent-infant relationship teams and deliver the benefits these teams bring to local babies and their families.


We welcome the Government’s current funding package; however, it must be seen as the beginning of a journey towards sustained, UK-wide investment in our youngest children and their futures. The Government have only committed to the current funding package for three years, and it is only enough to cover half of the local authorities in England. We look forward to continuing our work with Dame Andrea Leadsom, Department of Health Officials and local partners to create lasting change for all babies across the UK.


Keith Reed, Chief Executive Officer of the Parent-Infant Foundation, said:

“I am glad the Government has recognised how vital the first 1001 days of a baby’s life is. Their support for babies in these 75 communities is a welcome first step towards ensuring all babies and their families across the UK have the support they need during this crucial time.”

“It is essential for this funding to provide meaningful improvements to babies and their families in these communities. We know that the parent-infant relationship is the most important factor in ensuring strong infant mental health. That is why it is key for these funds to be spent on specialist parent-infant relationship teams that support these relationships and provide therapeutic support for families who are struggling the most.”

“We look forward to using our expertise to help support existing Teams to expand and improve the services they offer as well as to help local commissioners develop new specialist parent-infant relationship services.”

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