Home-Start HOST works in partnership with the NHS Early Attachment Service to deliver the Parent-Infant Mental Health project (PIMH). Our Home-Visiting Family Support volunteers receive additional training to support families with a child under the age of two, or with a child that hasn’t yet been born. The families supported will be those who may be experiencing difficulties such as post-natal depression or other mental health issues, those suffering from anxiety or isolation, or those who are concerned about developing a strong relationship with their child.
Research has shown that volunteers are often better able to engage with families who may be reluctant to seek professional help or get involved with statutory services. An evaluation of how our PIMHs-trained volunteers have been able to interact with families so far shows that a small investment in training can yield amazing results in terms of helping parents build positive relationships with their little ones.
Read The Power of Volunteers to see the evaluation of the PIMHs project to date, and why we are so optimistic about it’s impact, or check out the full paper, Enhancing the parent-infant relationship through training volunteers (full paper) .
Overall, the impact on parents’ experiences appears to have been even more dramatic than we could have hoped for. Time will tell how great will be the impact of this input on the subsequent lives of these children and their families, but we are optimistic that this relatively
modest expenditure of time and expertise will have real benefits for them and for the society in which they live.