Thriving Babies: A Pilot Evaluation

WWCSC and Oxford Brookes University are conducting a pilot evaluation of the Thriving Babies project in Manchester, which aims to intervene and provide support at an early stage for potential vulnerable parents of babies and infants pre and post birth.


Pilot / In progress

Estimated completion

June 2022

Focus areas

Children & families

Delivered by

Manchester City Council; Barnardo's; the 'Big Manchester' Partnership

Evaluated by

The Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brooke's University

Key Figures

Local authorities 1
Sample size Approx. 60 unborn/newborn infants and their parents

Thriving Babies aims to intervene and support potentially vulnerable parents of babies and infants pre and post birth at an early stage. It recognises that parent vulnerability and potential risks to the baby or infant may arise for a range of reasons, such as parent exposure to adverse child experiences, domestic abuse, substance misuse, mental health problems, learning disability or vulnerability to exploitation. This project aims to work proactively with parents to build upon their strengths and develop understanding around attunement to the needs of babies and children, developing their parenting skills, reducing risk and developing family resilience and parents wellbeing. This work is directed by a named ‘key worker’ for the family, developing a trusting relationship. The project also aims to wrap other support round the parent and family, e.g. to help with mental health needs. This is achieved through strong links with the voluntary sector and through deployment of the ‘Think Family Coordinator’ for individual families.

The evaluation, undertaken by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University will take place between May 2021 and June 2022. The pilot evaluation will explore the key elements of Thriving Babies, it’s feasibility and evidence of promise using a mixed methods approach, working closely with sites throughout. The final report will be published during summer 2022.