The Parent and Infant Unit is a residential support and assessment service for parents with infant children. While living on the unit, parents take part in a parenting assessment while also engaging in a programme of therapeutic support and key working tailored to meet their individual needs.
The Parent and Infant Unit’s framework is underpinned by Infant Mental Health, Parenting Development, and Trauma Informed Care principles. A recommendation on parents’ parental capacity is arrived at through understanding and weighing up risk and protective factors alongside a parent’s ability to receive intervention in relation to parenting and personal development.
This means is that at the end of the assessment, the team will make recommendations about parents’ ability to look after their infant, what support they may need to be able to do this safely in the community. Whilst the overall aim of support and development opportunities provided to parents whilst resident on the unit is to allow families stay together safely, sometimes if there is too high a level of risk posed to an infant child in its parents’ care, with no reliable support options available to them in the community, foster care for the infant is a recommendation of the assessment.