For baby's sake
“This is so different to any other service. I know they are not going to disappear when they think I’m ‘fixed’”
Babies, domestic abuse and trauma
One in five children in the UK experience domestic abuse. This can have a profound impact on the rest of their lives.
Babies are particularly affected. Exposure to domestic abuse in the first 1001 days of life (from conception until age two), can physically alter a baby’s brain chemistry and affect cognitive, emotional and physical development.
Left unresolved, trauma in infancy can lead to issues in later life that affect the whole of society. These include: an increased likelihood of mental health issues, struggling at school, substance misuse, criminal behaviour and experiencing domestic abuse or being abusive later life.
The risks associated with domestic abuse can be reduced by protective factors in children’s lives, especially by secure relationships with parents or caregivers during infancy.
Parents can find it harder to give their baby warm and sensitive care if they did not have it themselves during their own childhoods.
There is another way
For Baby’s Sake
For Baby’s Sake is the first programme for expectant parents that takes a whole-family approach, starting in pregnancy and dealing with the entire cycle and history of domestic abuse, identifying and directly addressing the trauma or traumas that lie at the heart of the problem. It usually continues until the baby is two, covering the important time when a child’s brain is developing and bonds are forming.
Both parents join For Baby’s Sake, whether or not they are a couple. Each has their own different practitioner.
Our way of working provides the time, space and support for parents to tackle often complex and daunting issues from their own lives.
The work with each parent includes a focus on the overall wellbeing and development of the baby and any other children.
Practitioners also work closely with each other and with multi-agency partners to manage risks within each family member’s journey.
We work with parents who:
- Want to change the behaviours that sometimes cause hurt or fear in their relationship and family.
- Want to co-parent their baby, even if they’re not a couple or don’t live together.
- Might have experienced significant difficulties in their own childhood and want a better start for their baby.
- Are expecting a baby (ideally before 28 weeks of pregnancy) and are over 17 years of age.
Why it works
Whole person, whole family
Parents form trusting relationships with their For Baby’s Sake Practitioner. They feel safe and know that we won’t judge people for what they’ve done, experienced or how they are as parents.
Our strengths-based approach helps parents handle emotions such as anger and fear, so that they can start to enjoy taking responsibility for their own future.
Parents receive trauma-informed support to acknowledge and explore often unresolved and complex childhood trauma. This helps them build resilience and change harmful patterns of behaviour.
The Inner Child module is at the therapeutic core of the programme. This is where parents can discover and reconnect with the root of their fears, insecurities and sabotaging life patterns.
Parenting interventions for mothers and fathers, based on attachment theory, focus on sensitive, attuned interaction with their babies. Parents grow in confidence and ability to support their baby’s emotional development.
The programme has rigorous safety planning and multi-agency working to ensure the safety of both parents and child.
Where we work
We currently have four local area-based For Baby’s Sake teams in Blackpool, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and in London, covering Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham. These teams operate under innovative partnerships with local authorities and offer their communities a dedicated local resource.
In Spring 2021, we are launching For Baby’s Sake CONNECT to deliver the programme using video and phone technologies to families in places without a dedicated local area-based team.
We welcome approaches and referrals from midwives, local authority and other multi-agency professionals, or parents themselves, in areas covered by our local teams or more widely through For Baby’s Sake CONNECT.
For more information on the development of these teams, see Our Story
For Baby's Sake Teams
Tools & Resources that can help you
We share tools and resources which may be useful to parents or professionals located anywhere. Some of these are also used within our own programme, For Baby’s Sake, or we’ve created them based on our experience of working with parents. We also suggest resources or support from other organisations.
Bring For Baby’s Sake to your local authority area
Do you work in an area of the UK where For Baby’s Sake is not yet available?
We would be delighted to work with local authorities and other partners to bring For Baby’s Sake to more families in the UK. Get in touch to start a conversation about how we could help make this happen.
To start a conversation, please contact us at: email@example.com