We are keen to support organisations and bodies who are trying to make a difference when children are at risk of harm. The recent Children’s Commissioner report (see here) highlights the staggering number of children under one who are considered by local authorities to be “vulnerable, or highly vulnerable and at risk of harm, but still living at home.” There is an ever increasing pressure on local authority budgets and children’s social services are feeling the strain; many SureStart centres have closed.
We have been able to work with a number of initiatives focusing on residential care for families needing some intensive support. The aims of these centres is to keep vulnerable parents and children together. They provide families with a safe place where they can learn how to care for their babies, learn how to be parents, and have a chance to develop the connecting relationships that are so essential for successful family formation.
Comfortable, easy to use baby carriers can play a part in creating connections; the close contact between parent and baby triggers biochemical changes in the brain that encourage a sensation of love and responsibility. We’ve now visited three of these family centres in three locations around the wider area, and have been very encouraged by the response from the staff and parents.
We visited a carrying conference in Coventry in September, and the staff at a local centre brought several families in to see us; Danielle and Stacie were able to fit seven carriers that day, to mums and dads of children of varying ages. Everyone was very pleased to have a carrier of their own to help them meet their babies’ needs for holding while still being able to focus on some of their own needs.
In October we visited one local centre again to see a new cohort of parents, and it was brilliant to see their enthusiasm, having heard about the benefits the last group had had from their slings.
In the meantime you can do lots to support us – read more here.