Thriving Babies, Confident Parents

What is the Thriving Babies, Confident Parents project?

  • The Thriving Babies, Confident Parents Programme is about promoting the health and wellbeing of children through working differently with their parents during pregnancy and during the child’s early years. 
  • The programme utilises a multi agency team approach working pro-actively with parents to build on their strengths, undertaking intensive assessment, to provide support and intervention programme for at risk babies. With a pathway through a Think Family Coordinator.


  • This project has roots in a previous pilot, “Edge of Care Babies”, that ran during 2019/20
  • Thriving Babies, Confident Parents extends the offer of support to include a broader group of partners including VCSE
  • With an aim to achieve early permanency for babies and young children by earlier intervention
  • Responding to the over representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic families within the care population
  • Feedback from Start Well consultation and engagement with residents and staff directly contributed to the programme design
  • To support good or improved child attachment to birth parents. 
  • To support good or improved parenting confidence and efficacy.

Who is it for?

  • The programme is seeking to work with 60 new or prospective parents of babies, where vulnerability factors include:
    • Care experienced parents
    • Parent exposure to ACEs 
    • Domestic Abuse
    • Substance Misuse
    • Mental Health problems
    • Learning disability or difficulty
    • Previous children been removed through care proceedings

Who is delivering it?

The programme is funded by What Works in Children’s Social Care with funding matched by Manchester City Council. As part of this there will be an independent evaluation by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University. The programme is delivered by a multi-agency programme team composed of statutory and voluntary charitable service partners that include:

  • Home-Start
  • Big Manchester (Barnardo’s)
  • Midwifery
  • Health Visiting
  • The Children and Parents Service (CAPS)
  • Early Help (MCC)
  • Adult Social Care (MCC)
  • The Big Life Group


  • Creation of dedicated multi agency team to assess, support and deliver interventions
  • Referral pathway remains the same as current arrangements
  • New threshold criteria mean more families will be able to access early interventions
  • Allocation of Home-Start volunteer who will come alongside the parent(s) to develop trusting relationship to enable parents’ positive engagement with programme
  • ‘Think Family Coordinator’ will provide timely connectivity across to Adult Social Care offer
  • Evidence based programmes including PAMS, Video Interactive Guidance, Signs of Safety practice framework and Safe and Together practice model.
  • Whole family Therapeutic interventions will be delivered through Big Manchester

    Workforce Development 

  • Increased connectivity and understanding between all agencies
  • Trauma-informed approach with training for staff and volunteers
  • Focus on culture, behaviours and development of Manchester ‘Think Family’ approach across all services


  • Operational  group and delivery teams accountable to Steering Group consisting of all key stakeholders
  • Part of wider Children’s Reform Programme in Manchester


  • Thriving Babies: Confident Parents Team sits within MCC’s North Early Help Hub
  • Families in North and Central will have enhanced TB:CP offer including VCSE interventions
  • Programme went live with receiving referrals from 1st June 2021
  • What Works Centre Social Care programme funded to 31st May 2022
  • Posts funded by Manchester City Council until May 2023

A partnership between:

© 2021-22 Stephen Brock

Developed by: Stephen Brock, M.S.W., Social Work Consultant.


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