The Parent-Infant Relationship Cards are a visual, interactive tool to help practitioners assess, discuss and share health care information with families and to make NICE recommended interventions accessible. The cards aim to improve and enhance the parent‐infant relationship and promote infant attachment and optimal infant development.
The Parent-Infant Relationship Cards are a highly visual tool designed to facilitate understanding of the parent-infant relationship for practitioners and parents. They aim to enhance behaviours which may contribute to a secure attachment between caregiver and child and support infant mental health and brain development.
The pictorial aspects enable the cards to be accessible across cultures; the resource is also a valuable tool when working with interpreters. As the cards are an interactive tool they can be used to make interventions to help parents develop the skills and knowledge to enrich their parent-infant relationship.
Who are the cards suitable for?
This tool is suitable for any professional working with families with infants, including health visitors, family support workers, midwives and practitioners working in early years, mental health, and social care.
How do the cards work?
The cards aim to improve the parent‐infant relationship and promote infant attachment and optimal infant development by helping to develop the parent's understanding of their infant and how they respond to interaction. For example, the extent to which the parent responds in a timely and attuned manner; the child’s involvement and parent’s positive engagement, and the infant's ability to seek and maintain closeness to the parent.
Secure infant attachment leads to positive outcomes; the infant can be comforted when distressed and will use the parent as a secure base from which to explore the environment.
Practitioners can use the resource cards to work directly with the parent and infant in the home to identify unconscious patterns of relating and behaving.
The pictorial cards help to embed parent infant relationship training into practice. For example:
Pictures allow discussion, time to wonder and think.
Information on the back of the cards can be used as a prompt for health professionals or early years practitioners to discuss key pieces of information around specific aspects of the parent infant relationship with the parents so they can understand their baby.
Cards can be used to reinforce key messages as well as intervention when professionals identify a need or mismatch of response from parents to baby.
The cards are on a keyring, so they can be used individually or as a pack.
The cards include sections on:
Parenting and family relationships
Building a relationship with your baby
Infant cues and responses
Delivery date: 1 week
Ready to Relate Advocates
Professionals - Advocates
“These pictures of the faces and hands of young children, with those of their parents and other carers, show the joy of affectionate kindness, of belonging in love, and of pride in shared discovery of meaning in life. They also show the distress of pain or loneliness, the shame of longing for company. The cards give encouragement for gentle patience with sadness or anger, offering reassurance in security and play. There are special rituals and symbols of shared meaning for young children in their particular community, but the emotions that give them energy and value prove the human spirit we are all born with.” Professor Colwyn Trevarthen, Infant Mental Health Researcher And Theorist
“Pictures are very helpful – especially when there is a language barrier. This will be helpful for interpreters in their understanding and it would be good for all health visitors to use these at all the visits.” Interpreter
“This is so fantastic – exactly what we need; this will fit in with the projects and groups we want to run with families and children. This would be perfect for the family support workers.” Cluster Manager
“They will provide a valuable tool for pregnant women and mothers with new babies. They are of real importance for the support they can give to the mother. I do think the cards are great and easy to use.” Professor Vivette Glover
Parents - Advocates
“I didn’t know a little baby was able to communicate so much. I wish I had known this with my first child.” Mother of 6-week-old baby
“I have been talking to my baby and looking into her eyes much more because the health visitor showed me the cards. I think my baby and I are very close because of this.” Mother of 2-week-old baby
For further information about the cards visit: https://www.bdct.nhs.uk/working-for-us/working-for-us/parent-infant-relationship-resource-cards-for-health-visitors/