Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership is increasing the support it is giving to families with babies born during this year.
More than 4,600 babies have been born in the County since the beginning of this year.
All of these families will have faced additional pressures brought about by the Covid restrictions on their daily lives over the last nine months, adding to what can already be a challenging time.
As these restrictions continue, Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership has recognised the disproportionate impact this is having on those with babies in the home, who will often rely more than most on social contact and the support of others to help at a busy time in any family’s life.
Derek Benson, the Independent Chair of the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership said: “Worcestershire partners would like to ask family members or friends of those with babies in the home to make that extra effort to stay in touch and where possible offer that little extra support that may make all the difference to parents or carers who may be struggling.
“Accepting the need to observe the current guidelines and restrictions on visits to other households, a phone or video call could be all that is need to make the difference to someone who might be feeling overwhelmed or isolated.”
In the first nine months of 2020 the Worcestershire Family Front Door has received 682 concerns relating to children under one year old, an increase of 36% on the same period last year.
The Family Front Door is the referral point for all referrals where members of the community and professionals refer children and young people living in Worcestershire where they are worried about their safety and welfare.
Louise Langston from the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust added: “Health Visitors, School Health and Parenting teams are still here to support families during the pandemic, although the way we deliver our services may be different in order to keep you, your family and our teams safe.
“We may carry out contacts by visiting you at home or inviting you to come along to one of our Family Hubs, asking you to attend a video call appointment, or some by telephone. We are also increasing our Parenting sessions by group video calls too.”
The partnership is doing all it can to support these parents. A number of agencies are involved in visiting as many families with babies as possible to make sure they have the support they need, or they know where to go to access it.
In addition, staff from Worcestershire Children First are working hard to support those who are already known to agencies, and local health services are available for those who feel they need additional support or advice.
If you need support, then call the Health Visitor Telephone Advice Service on 0300 123 9551 or email the Starting Well Worcestershire team.