Parent-Infant Relationship Service

The service aims to promote a loving secure relationship between primary caregivers’ and their infants, which lays the positive foundation for health and well-being that can last a lifetime

Meet the team

Left to right: Dr Charlie Ingham – Clinical Psychologist, Gosia Ragun – Team administrator, Tracy Greenwood – Service Manager/Specialist Health Visitor(Central Hub Link worker), Lisa Kane – Parent Infant Therapist/Specialist Health Visitor (North Hub Link Worker), Zoe Tate – Parent Infant Therapist/Specialist Health Visitor (South Hub Link Worker), Dr Lisa Wardle -Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Clinical Lead

“Science tells us that a child’s experiences from conception through their first five years will go on to shape their next 50”.  (J.knauf (2014) CEO The Royal Foundation)

Our service focuses on the very special relationship between parents and infants that develops in the early years of a child’s life, in particular the first 1001 critical days, this is such an important time for babies and infants.

Who is the service for

The service is for pregnant parents and primary caregivers, (including parents, foster carers, grandparents, or others who may be in this role) with babies and young children up to the age of five, who live in Blackpool and have a Blackpool GP and would like support with early relationship difficulties.

How can we help?

We know expecting a baby and becoming a parent can be a time of great joy, but it can also be a very challenging and emotional time and it is common to feel overwhelmed, feel a dip in confidence and struggle with the adjustment and new responsibilities of parenthood.

PaIRS provide a safe space to help think about the difficulties new parents may be experiencing and develop new capacities to provide the sensitive, responsive, and appropriate care that their babies need to thrive. We build on the strengths of parents and work together to find the most helpful way to support you and your baby.

What can you expect?

Following our service receiving a request for support from a worker or health professional (this could be your GP/midwife/health visitor/family hub worker or any service you are working with):

  • the team will meet together to make a plan of positive next steps, this will be communicated back to you by either your referrer or
  • a member of our team will offer an opportunity to meet with you and your baby, which allows us to get to know you and understand how best we can support you both.
  • We can offer a range a of therapeutic interventions, depending on what fits for your family
  • We may offer you support one to one or in a group setting.

It is important to remember you are not alone, many parents and carers experience similar challenges and there is support available, so please to reach out for support if you feel you would benefit from it.

If you feel you require support for your own mental well-being please contact GP/HV/ midwife/any professionals involved

Useful Websites 

Useful apps

Why are Parent-Infant relationships so important?

Brain development is at its most rapid and malleable during the first few years of life and optimal brain development is highly dependent on interactions with carers. -Parent Infant Foundation

Infant mental health describes the emotional wellbeing of children during their early years. We know that babies are completely reliant on their caregivers and later development is heavily influenced by the loving attachment babies have to their caregivers, therefore early positive interactions with caregivers are vital to building healthy brains. There are lots of reasons why developing a relationship with a baby can be difficult for parents and difficulties in this period are more common that most people think.

Who are we?

We are a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in supporting and strengthening the important relationships between babies and their primary caregivers, predominantly in pregnancy until the child is age 2. The service is led by a Consultant Clinical Psychologist

As the service develops, we aim to work collaboratively with Blackpool Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to ensure children aged 2-5 years and their families have access to support, where there are difficulties in the nurturing relationship.

What do we offer?

The team will aim to promote a loving secure relationship between primary caregivers’ and their infants, which lays the positive foundation for health and well-being that can last a lifetime.

The three strands the service will focus on are:

  1. Therapeutic interventions
  2. Consultations
  3. Training

Delivering the service utilising these strands enables us to reach as many families as possible.

If a referral is accepted for therapeutic intervention then a member of the team will offer a comprehensive assessment, ensuring the family’s concerns and wishes are at the forefront of all care planning. All the information gathered will be discussed within the multi-disciplinary team to formulate a support plan.

The team will offer evidence based and practice-informed therapeutic interventions to strengthen the parent-infant/child relationship such as:

  • Psychological formulation and integrative approaches
  • Compassion focused approaches
  • Solihull and trauma informed approaches
  • Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)
  • Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS)
  • Circle of Security Parenting (COSP)
  • As well as a range of other interventions, where indicated.

The intervention may be one to one or in a group, and will be offered in the family home and/or various community settings according to preference of the family and availability.

 The team will work by embedding the principles of the THRIVE model using a ‘needs led’ approach. 

Who might PaIRS support?

Referrals can be received from any services who are currently working with primary caregivers who would like therapeutic support to strengthen their relationship with their infant.

  • They will be within the perinatal period and up to a child being 2 years old.
  • The primary caregiver and infant must be registered at a GP practice in Blackpool and have a Blackpool address.
  • Parental consent must be obtained.

The team provides consultancy support to all Blackpool services working with families with children under 5 years who have concerns of parent-infant relationship difficulties. We would advise that you contact the team to discuss any concerns you may have prior to making a referral. or call  01253 958573


When might PaIRS not be suitable?

  • Primary caregiver currently being supported by the Specialist Perinatal Community Mental Health team (SPCMHT) and assessing parent-infant relationship support. In the first instance contact SPCMHT (01524 550887).
  • When the primary caregiver’s mental health needs are the main concern and requires addressing first.
  • Primary caregiver currently being supported by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for children 0-5 years. In the first instance contact the CAMHS allocated practitioner.
  • Primary caregivers with a substance dependency, who are not currently supported by substance misuse services. In such situations careful considerations should be given to establishing a collaborative joint working relationship between services to ensure assessment of family lifestyle and capacity to identify and place baby’s needs as a priority. Further discussions between services should always be sought.


What you can expect from us following a referral

We aim to:

  • Acknowledge the referral within 2 working days
  • Triage within 10-15 working days: following outcome of triage we will offer an assessment or suggest an alternative course of action that may be more appropriate to meet the family’s needs.
  • Following the outcome of assessment, we will formulate a care plan and if direct intervention meets the family’s needs, this will commence within 6 weeks or we may suggest an alternative course of action.
  • The team will provide feedback of the assessment outcome to the referrer and if allocated, the name of the PaIRS practitioner.
  • Once the intervention has been completed, we will send a discharge letter to the client and forward to the referrer and GP.

Training – We offer a suite of training packages to all stakeholders from a 30 min introduction to the PaIR service inc. referral pathway, to more in-depth training of Infant Mental Health and the importance of ‘The First 1001 critical days’. For more information, please contact the team through


Useful websites for professionals

The UK IMH Competency Framework – AiMH

How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development – YouTube

Resources for Professionals – Parent-Infant Foundation (

Online training

NHS England elearning modules Perinatal Mental Health – elearning for healthcare (

Brain Story Certification » Alberta Family Wellness Initiative


Click here to download the referral form 

If you have any safeguarding concerns please click here