Interventions to promote infant massage. Benefits are reported to include improvements in parent and/or child sleep patterns, their interaction and relationship.
Safeguarding policies and activities aim to ensure children receive safe and effective care, are protected from maltreatment and have their health and development needs met. Legislation and related policies describe how individuals and agencies should work together to safeguard children.
The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is the UK name for the US-developed Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP). The partnership provides an intensive, structured home-visiting programme for young, first-time mothers from a disadvantaged background and their partners. The emphasis is on building a strong relationship between a specially trained (family) nurse and the parents. Support is available from early pregnancy until the child is aged 2 years. The aim is to improve pregnancy outcomes, the child's health and development and the parents' economic self-sufficiency.
A joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA) provides a profile of the health and social care needs of a local population. JSNAs are used as the basis for developing joint health and wellbeing strategies.
In the context of this guidance, 'readiness for school' refers to a child's cognitive, social and emotional development. Development during the child's early years may be achieved through interaction with their parents or through the processes of play and learning.
Social and emotional wellbeing provides the building block for healthy behaviours and educational attainment. It also helps prevent behavioural problems (including substance misuse) and mental illness. For the purposes of this guidance, the following definitions are used, in line with the Department for Education's Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage:
emotional wellbeing – this includes being happy and confident and not anxious or depressed
psychological wellbeing – this includes the ability to be autonomous, problem-solve, manage emotions, experience empathy, be resilient and attentive
social wellbeing – has good relationships with others and does not have behavioural problems, that is, they are not disruptive, violent or a bully.
A targeted service may be distinct from, or an adaptation of, a universal service. For example, a tailored home visiting programme by a nurse, midwife or health visitor may be provided for young parents from a disadvantaged background. This would be separate from the universal home visiting service provided for all new families and might, for example, include longer sessions, goal setting and a range of specific interventions. (See universal services below.)
Universal services, such as general education and healthcare services, are available to everyone For all children aged up to 5 years, universal provision includes: maternal healthcare, midwife home visits soon after birth and routine health visitor checks.
Interactions between a parent or carer and a child are recorded using audio visual equipment. This is later viewed and discussed, typically with a health or social care professional. Parents and carers are given a chance to reflect on their behaviour, with the focus on elements that are successful. The aim is to improve their communications and relationship with their child.
A number of factors may contribute, to varying degrees, to making a child vulnerable to poor social and emotional wellbeing. In addition, a child's circumstances may vary with time. However, in this guidance vulnerable children include those who are exposed to:
parental drug and alcohol problems
parental mental health problems
family relationship problems, including domestic violence
They may also include those who:
are in a single parent family
were born to parents aged under 18 years
were born to parents who have a low educational attainment
were born to parents who are (or were as children) looked after (that is, they have been in the care system)
have physical disabilities
have speech, language and communication difficulties.
These indicators can be used to identify groups of children who are likely to be vulnerable. However, not all of these children will in fact be vulnerable – and others, who do not fall within these groups, could have social and emotional problems.