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Seeking support

Introduction to ‘Seeking support’

In this sprint you will develop the following knowledge: 

  • I can recognise difficulties in the parent infant relationship and know how to seek specialist support. 
  • I can recognise signs of concern when a parent does not seem connected or interested in their baby’s development. 

Early identification of breakdowns in parent-infant relationships can help to mitigate long term impact to both parent and child.

Anna Freud

Watch the video below and list the reasons why children’s services might have had contact with a family. How might each of these areas affect the parent-infant relationship?  


  • Read through the document below and consider the following:
    • What is Early Intervention? 
    • How do we know which children can benefit from Early Intervention? 
    • Where can Early Intervention have the greatest impact? 
    • How does Early Intervention work for society and the economy? 
    • Look at the image in fig 1 – What are the risk factors in a child’s life? Can you see any similarities between this image and Bronfenbrenner’s theoretical idea?  

Develop your understanding of ‘Seeking support’

Greater Manchester Mental Health

Watch the video below. Make notes about some of the difficulties in the parent-infant relationship. What specialist support is available? 


There are many places where parents can access support. Use the links below to read more about these and make notes about how the different professionals can help. 

Reflect upon ‘Seeking support’

We’ve looked at the different types of support available to parents. We’ll now look into conversations about mental health and how we can direct individuals to seek the right support they need.


It can be difficult to hold a conversation with somebody about mental health. Read through the document below which gives you tips about how to start, manage and close the conversation.  


Anna Freud

  • Watch this video from 4.23 minutes to 14.27 minutes. Think about what makes relationships helpful? What needs to happen in a relationship in order to: 
    • create collaboration 
    • ensure respectful behaviour 
    • be person centred 
    • help the parent to feel understood 
    • build trust and a purposeful relationship that is goal orientated

When you watch the video think about the following questions: 

  • How can asking for help open up vulnerabilities? 
  • What is the role of power in relationships?  
  • What role can professional power play in a relationship? 
  • How can we position the parent in a more equitable role and empower them?  
  • How can we work with parents and not ‘do to’ them?  
  • Do you as the professional understand what it is like to be the parent?  
  • Do you as the professional change your response in relation to what you hear from the parent? This change in professional behaviour indicates relational practice. 
  • How will you build trust when parents might have mistrust because they have been let down by other services? This involves understanding what it is like to be the parent. 
  • How do you take seriously the mistrust based on parents previous experiences so that they feel understood? 
  • How do practitioners start from the position of what parents want as opposed to what the service offer is? 
  • How do practitioners understand the way in which the parent wants to receive the help? In relational practice it is not for the practitioner to decide. 
  • If there are multiple complex needs, how does the parent decide upon what to tackle first? 
  • How do professionals understand about the diversity of help on offer? 
  • How do practitioners facilitate families helping families? 
  • How is relational practice applied between professionals? 

Further Resources