About us

Our vision

We empower parents to break cycles of abuse, to transform the life-chances of whole families and move forward in positive change, starting with the baby. The baby is at the heart of everything we do.

Our story

2008
2010
2015
2019
2020
2021
2022
Ongoing

The Beginning

The For Baby’s Sake Trust (originally named the Stefanou Foundation) was set up philanthropically by Stelio Stefanou. His founding vision was to tackle the root causes of disadvantage and vulnerability, focusing on very young babies who do not have a voice. Stelio chaired the charity for 14 years, providing inspirational leadership until stepping down from the Board in December 2022.

Research, design, innovation

 

Evidence about the scale and impact of domestic abuse, on babies in the womb until the age of two, led us to focus on supporting families in the first two years of their baby’s life. 

We had the time and space to innovate, determined to create a new way to break intergenerational cycles of trauma.

 

Launching the For Baby’s Sake Programme

 

In 2015 we started our new therapeutic programme, working with families in Hertfordshire and London. The programme, targeting the effects of domestic abuse on unborn and very young babies, is the first to take a whole-family approach. We commissioned a major evaluation of its development and operation, from 2015-2019, led by King’s College London.

Collaboration and expansion

 

In August 2019, the For Baby’s Sake programme opened to families in Cambridgeshire in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council. By the end of 2019, a new Blackpool team was in place, in partnership with Blackpool Council and on behalf of Blackpool Better Start. These collaborative agreements with local authorities launched the area-based roll-out of our programme.

Lockdown, proven success and our films

In March 2020, we immediately moved to delivering For Baby’s Sake CONNECT through video and phone calls with parents. Engagement remained high with existing families and with those who joined the programme during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In May 2020, we published a major four-year evaluation of the programme, led by King’s College London. The academic research team concluded that For Baby’s Sake is the ‘first’ known programme to ‘fill an important gap’ through ‘unique features’ that ‘address key limitations’ of responses to domestic abuse.

Later in the year, in September, we launched a short animated film. 

This used the real voices of parents who tell the story of what brought them into the For Baby’s Sake programme, and the life-changing impact it had on them and their baby. 

This authentic and personal way of showing how we work has helped us reach new audiences.

 

CONNECT, system change and community

Based on learning during lockdown, we created For Baby’s Sake CONNECT – a new channel for delivering For Baby’s Sake by holding one-to-one sessions with parents using video and audio calls and therefore able to work with families living anywhere in the country where there is not a dedicated local For Baby’s Sake team. We launched the prototype phase of For Baby’s Sake CONNECT in March 2021.

In 2021 we also launched resources to extend our system change and outreach work. Our YouGov survey and radio adverts early in 2021 raised awareness of domestic abuse affecting expectant and new parents and encouraged them to seek support. 

Our new materials included a suite of Trauma Insight Resources, created with collaborative input from The Association of Safeguarding Partners and Home-Start UK. These became the springboard for trauma insight training for multi-agency professionals.

We co-designed a new interactive training and resource toolkit for health visitors, ‘Changing Conversations – Domestic Abuse, in partnership with the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), hosted on the iHV’s learning platform.

We ended 2021 with the wonderful news that the Centre for Justice Innovation had awarded the Nick Crichton Award for Family Justice to For Baby’s Sake, praising our innovative, trauma-informed, whole-family model.

Influencing policy and practice

2022 began with our For Baby’s Sake film being shortlisted for Charity Film of the Year. 

By April 2022, a year after launch, the For Baby’s Sake CONNECT team had supported families across 15 local authorities and after this strong start, the Trust determined that this nationally-available approach will be key to the expansion of For Baby’s Sake, alongside area-based teams where authorities want a dedicated local service.

We are playing a central role within collaborative efforts to drive system change through promoting and developing core and common outcomes for public policy and services for children and families, including those affected by domestic abuse. 

Other contributions to system change included influencing the Domestic Abuse Statutory Guidance published in July 2022 and guidance from the National Safeguarding Practice Review Panel on responding to domestic abuse and protecting babies under one.  

The Blackpool For Baby’s Sake team was instrumental to the Born into Care initiative, co-produced with parents, to improve the response to families when their babies are removed at birth, especially by empowering fathers to participate. 

In November, For Baby’s Sake and our partnership with Blackpool Better Start received the honour of winning the Children and Young People Now Safeguarding Award.

2022 ended with Stelio Stefanou standing down from the Trust’s Board after 14 years of visionary leadership. Everyone at the Trust is deeply grateful to Stelio, who will continue to inspire us, and we are glad that he will continue to be a valued supporter and champion of the Trust and For Baby’s Sake.

Ongoing

2023 began with the launch of our Emotional Safety Plan tool and the Safer Beginnings resources, co-produced through a partnership of charities and community advocates collaborating to improve birth and maternal outcomes. 

New films launched include powerful contributions from parents sharing their experiences of participating in our For Baby’s Sake programme and the difference this made, to encourage other parents to seek support.

The For Baby’s Sake Trust continues to combine our highly innovative and transformational work with families, through For Baby’s Sake.

In 2023 and beyond, we continued driving broader changes in policy and practice, creating and gathering evidence, sharing learning, and influencing policy at local and national level.

Our values

Dignity and respect
Efficiency and high performance
Being a team - we, not I
Making a difference
Doing the right thing

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