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Emotional Safety Plans: what they are, and how to use them

Take a deep dive into our Emotional Safety Plans, developed with Best Beginnings.

The Emotional Safety Plans share what parents need to feel safe, and to thrive. Read on to learn more.

Our Emotional Safety Plans for Parents

The Emotional Safety Plan is an empowerment and self-agency tool for anyone preparing for the birth of a baby.  It can be used by expectant mothers, fathers, co-parents, or non-birthing partners, individually or together, making support available to the whole family.  Those using it can record what they may need to feel listened to, including preferences about how they are spoken to, or how options and choices are explained, so they can process, recognise and manage their feelings, to feel safe before, during and after birth.  

The Emotional Safety Plan differs from a birth plan by focusing on how to keep yourself emotionally safe, including how the birth journey may evoke difficult feelings and how professionals can be supportive by their words and actions to ensure that parents feel heard, seen and understood.  The tool also prompts parents to consider how the physical environment may affect their emotional wellbeing, e.g. lighting, noise levels, any items that it would be helpful – or unhelpful – to have nearby, or requests not to return to rooms where they experienced previous birth trauma.  

 

Our Emotional Safety Plans for Professionals

The For Baby’s Sake Trust has created parallel Emotional Safety Plan tools for professionals, especially to support midwives, maternity and perinatal care staff who have an essential role in supporting parents, families and non-birthing partners to feel safe before, during and after birth. 

Providing this care can be emotional and can have an impact on the wellbeing and emotional safety of those providing care. Developing an emotional safety plan can help midwives and other healthcare professionals to establish strategies for emotional self-care, manage stress, and build resilience to maintain emotional and mental wellbeing. Acknowledging their own emotional safety needs can empower professionals to support those receiving their care to feel safe. 

Maternity or perinatal professionals and providers of care across wide-ranging discipline can use these versions of the Emotional Safety Plan to support their practice and professional and personal resilience. One way of using it is as a tool in reflective supervision or as a debriefing tool following a difficult or emotionally challenging labour or period of care.  The templates for professionals are accompanied by a guidance note with tips on how to use them.  We have also produced a briefing paper on emotional safety planning for professionals, in the context of emotional labour, and pointing to the Emotional Safety Plans as user-friendly, visual tools for identifying and communicating emotional needs. 

 

All the Emotional Safety Plan templates and guidance for parents and professionals, plus the animated film can be accessed here 

The tools for parents, guidance and animated film can also be accessed here via Baby Buddy, the NHS-approved pregnancy and parenting app created by Best Beginnings.  

 

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Make The For Baby’s Sake Trust your Charity of the Year!

By choosing us as your Charity of the Year, you can make a huge impact on the support we can provide families across the UK to break cycles of domestic abuse and give babies the best start in life.

There are many benefits of supporting The For Baby’s Sake Trust as your Charity of the Year. Domestic abuse has a devastating ripple effect across families, generations, and society. The For Baby’s Sake Trust, and our flagship programme For Baby’s Sake, is transforming lives. By supporting The For Baby’s Sake Trust through Charity of the Year, your business will help us raise awareness of For Baby’s Sake, and fund direct support to babies and families impacted by domestic abuse across the UK.

When you choose The For Baby’s Sake Trust as your Charity of the Year, you will:
  • Offer further tangible evidence of your dedication to ethical business and corporate social responsibility
  • Improve reach and audience via shared brand awareness, marketing value, and storytelling via our social media channels
  • Demonstrate your commitment to parenting and family life within your own organisation, with opportunity for staff to participate in tailored workshops and access our resources
  • Join a growing network of highly connected and high-value businesses

If you choose The For Baby’s Sake Trust as Charity of the Year, we’ll work with you to tailor the relationship to your business. Learn more about becoming a supporter here. 

Our supporters come from a broad network of businesses and individuals that are committed to making families safer, healthier, and happier. No matter your sponsorship level, your support through Charity of the Year will change the lives of babies and families across the UK and help to break cycles of domestic abuse.

Keen to find out more about Charity of the Year?

Please reach out to our fundraising team to explore our partnership opportunities. Email fundraising@forbabyssake.org.uk to get started.

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“Government’s Baby Blind Spot must end” say First 1001 Days members

The For Baby’s Sake Trust is one of over 60 First 1001 Days member organisations who have today jointly written to the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, asking him to address the impacts of the pandemic on babies and their families, and to take longer-term action to ensure all our children have the best start in life.

The pandemic has been difficult for many families, with impacts on a range of factors that significantly contribute to child development, including domestic abuse.  The letter points out that more than £3bn has been spent on mitigating the impact of the pandemic on older children, but nothing on those under two. 

The letter demands urgent action to ensure that babies’ health, wellbeing and safety is prioritised and that Government acts on its own commitment to “ensuring that children have the best start in life”.  

It also describes three things that the Secretary of State should prioritise to make a significant difference:

  1. Securing funding in the upcoming Spending Review to deliver the Government’s Best Start for Life vision.
  2.  Setting out clear expectations in the Health and Care Bill that local partners will cooperate in order to improve outcomes and reducing inequalities for children in the first 1001 days.
  3. Ensure that the new Office of Health Promotion can intervene when a local area is not delivering the Healthy Child Programme or is experiencing poor, declining, or unequal outcomes in the first 1001 days, providing additional support and resources where needed.

The letter has been signed by 64 charities and supporter organisations including the Parent-Infant Foundation, NSPCC, NCT, Action for Children and Home-Start UK.

Read the letter in full here.

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Parents describe the impact of For Baby’s Sake in new animated film

The For Baby’s Sake Trust is releasing a new animated film, “The Impact”, where mothers and fathers tell their stories, in their own voices, of how For Baby’s Sake has empowered them to break cycles of domestic abuse and create a better future for themselves and their baby.  

(You can watch the film here.)

The film is being released to coincide with two major international conferences which feature the learning from For Baby’s Sake, as the first known programme globally to work with both parents, from pregnancy until the baby’s second birthday, where there is domestic abuse.

The For Baby’s Sake Symposium, taking place within the World Association of Infant Mental Health Congress (WAIMH 20201, Brisbane, Australia and online, 22-26 June) is the major event on domestic abuse within the WAIMH2021 online programme.

For this WAIMH2021 symposium, The For Baby’s Sake Trust’s senior leadership team is joined by Dr Kylee Trevillion and Dr Jill Domoney from King’s College London, who led the evaluation of For Baby’s Sake, and Australia’s leading experts on infant mental health and domestic abuse, Dr Wendy Bunston and Kathy Eyre. 

The Virtual Trauma Recovery Summit (Titanic Belfast and online, 21-23 June) brings together the world’s leading experts on trauma and trauma recovery, including Bessel van der Kolk and Gabor Mate.  The For Baby’s Sake Trust is honoured to have been invited to present an online workshop at the Summit.

At the Trauma Recovery Summit, Amanda McIntyre, CEO and Judith Rees, Operational Director, share the learning from how For Baby’s Sake integrates trauma-informed approaches to breaking cycles of domestic abuse and childhood trauma with attachment-focused parenting interventions, notably Video Interaction Guidance.

Their workshop at the Summit incorporates the premiere showing of seven new films, produced by BAAFTA award-winning film director, Emma Lazenby and the ForMed films team.  In each of the first six films, parents describe a particular dimension of For Baby’s Sake.  In the last film, ‘The Impact,’ parents share some overall feelings about the difference  that For Baby’s Sake has made to them and their baby. As a preview, The For Baby’s Sake Trust has put this last film,  ‘The Impact’, on general release, on its website and youtube channel.

Judith Rees, Director of Operations at The For Baby’s Sake Trust, said,

“To understand how For Baby’s Sake works and the impact for parents and their babies, listen to the mothers and fathers in our new animated film. We are grateful to them for telling their stories and proud of what they are achieving.

“We are thrilled to share the learning from For Baby’s Sake with the World Association of Infant Mental Health and at the prestigious Trauma Recovery Summit.  It is especially meaningful that the parents who work with us can speak directly to these audiences, in their own voices, through our powerful new films and recordings.”

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70 experts urge Parliament to address the “baby blind spot” in the Domestic Abuse Bill and Statutory Guidance

We are urging Parliament to address the ‘baby blind spot’ in the Domestic Abuse Bill and Statutory Guidance. A letter to Government (read here) signed by 70 experts, professional bodies and public and voluntary sector organisations makes the case.

The letter, coordinated by The For Baby’s Sake Trust, the Institute of Health Visiting, the First 1001 Days Movement, calls on Government and Parliament to strengthen the legislation and guidance to meet the early development and safeguarding needs of babies and empower their parents to break the cycle.

We are urging Parliament to accept amendments tabled by Baroness Stroud and co-signed by  Baroness Armstrong, Baroness Finlay and Lord Mackay, demonstrating cross-party support.  

The first 1001 days until a baby’s second birthday is a period of uniquely rapid development, when babies are particularly susceptible to their environment.  Domestic abuse during this time is harmful and can affect parents’ ability to give their baby the best start.  30% of domestic abuse starts in pregnancy.

Amendments are essential to the Domestic Abuse Bill and Statutory Guidance to recognise the impact of domestic abuse on babies, including exposure in utero, and to meet the needs of babies and parents during the first 1001 days before babies reach age two. 

Unless the legislation is explicit and intentional, the needs of babies and their parents will be overlooked. 

Government and Parliament have a once in a generation opportunity to make the Domestic Abuse Act and Statutory Guidance work for babies and their parents.  We urge them to seize it.

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