Yesterday evening, ITV regional news broadcast a health visiting feature on the shortage of health visitors and how they are struggling to provide enough support for parents and children.

woman wearing glassess

Alison Morton, Executive Director iHV, being interviewed on ITV News

ITV was given exclusive access to the latest State of Health Visiting survey data, the national survey of health visitors collated and managed by the Institute of Health Visiting, which was published this morning (see our news story – Survey confirms babies, young children and families’ needs are increasing in the postcode lottery of support).

Alison Morton, Executive Director at the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“Thank you to ITV and all the health visitors and families who supported this important news story. The piece highlights the impact of years of cuts to the health visiting service and the impact that this is having on families.

“Our survey findings this year paint a picture of a health visiting service under pressure with a headline message that ‘we need more health visitors’. 700 leading children’s organisations agree with us and supported our call for investment for more health visitors in the recent Spending Review.

“Whilst we welcomed the £500m investment in children 0-19 years announced in the recent budget, this does not go anywhere near far enough. So far, we have had zero pounds of investment for more health visitors. We call again on the Government to deliver on their pledge to ‘rebuild health visiting’ as a matter of urgency.”

We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Charlotte, Mum to Ethan, for sharing her story about how her health visitor made a difference to her and her family. This would not have been possible without the tremendous support of Solent NHS Trust. Thank you to Claire Mcleod (HV and Clinical Modern Matron – Solent NHS Trust) for enabling Charlotte and Ethan to tell their story and for highlighting the vital role of the health visitor.

The news story and video on the link below is available on the national ITV News website and is a shortened version of the slightly longer news piece was shown in the regions yesterday evening.


The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) publishes the findings from its annual survey ‘The state of health visiting 2021: we need more health visitors’ – capturing the experiences of frontline health visiting practitioners working with families across the United Kingdom in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings confirm that the needs of babies, young children and families are increasing, there are not enough health visitors to meet these rising levels of need, and families are experiencing an ongoing postcode lottery of support.

The survey findings present the health visiting service’s unique view into the lives of families living through the pandemic, often hidden behind front doors and invisible to other services, with reports of soaring rates of domestic abuse, mental health problems, child behaviour problems, and child safeguarding. They tell the story of escalating numbers of families facing poverty and adversity, and due to successive years of cuts to the health visiting service in England, many families have been without access to the early help that can make a big difference.

There is a national shortage of around 5,000 health visitors in England and with services so stretched in some areas, 42% of health visitors are worried that they can’t do enough to safeguard vulnerable babies and young children. The pandemic is not over – but what is clear is that its impact on babies, young children and families is ongoing and has been significant.

Alison Morton, Executive Director at the Institute of Health Visiting, says,

“Our survey findings this year paint a picture of a health visiting service under pressure due to the impacts of the pandemic which affect the most disadvantaged families the most and increase the demand for health visiting support.

“In many areas, despite health visitors’ best efforts, the service is now so stretched that they can only reach the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of need and vulnerable babies, young children and their families are being let down.”

Over the last twelve months, health visitors have seen widening health inequalities with an increase in vulnerability and safeguarding risks with: 81% of health visitors reporting an increase in perinatal mental health problems; 80% an increase in domestic abuse; and 71% an increase in child safeguarding. In addition, 86% of health visitors reported an increase in speech, language, and communication problems; 80% an increase in child behavioural problems; and 72% an increase in poverty affecting children and families.

Alison continues:

“Becoming a parent can be challenging for a multitude of reasons. The good news is that getting help early can make a big difference. The pandemic has left many families without this vital safety net of early support provided by a health visiting service that reaches out to them. We know that many families find it difficult to take that first step in asking for help, and babies can’t ask for help if they are distressed and their parents are struggling. Therefore, it is vitally important that we have a universal health visiting service that reaches out to all families.”

Health visitors are Specialist Community Public Health Nurses who provide a vital infrastructure of support for all families, and a crucial safety-net identifying vulnerable babies and young children who are often otherwise invisible to services.

In England, the pandemic hit the profession at a time when it had the least capacity to meet families’ rising levels of need. Health visitors’ abilities to respond were compromised due to variations in local health visitor delivery models and the extent of pre-existing workforce capacity issues. Families have faced the brunt of this with a ‘postcode lottery’ of support and many health visitors are struggling to practise safely with large and unmanageable caseloads:

Only 9% of health visitors in England reported that they have the recommended ratio of 250 children aged 0-5, or less, per full time equivalent health visitor (FTE HV); compared to around two-thirds of health visitors in Scotland and Wales

Worryingly, more than 1 in 4 health visitors in England report that they are accountable for over 750 children (in Scotland and Wales, no health visitors have caseloads of this size).

As a result, many families are not seeing a health visitor at the routine health and development reviews mandated by the Government; for example, the report findings highlight that:

  • Only 21% of health visitors report that they are able to offer all families the antenatal contact
  • Only 21% of health visitors are able to offer all families a two-year review

Alison concludes:

“We urgently need more health visitors. Following years of cuts, the health visiting profession faces its biggest workforce challenge in living memory. Alongside 700 leading children’s organisations who supported our Spending Review call for more health visitors, we call on the Government to make good their pledge to ‘rebuild health visiting’.

“The Government say that they will maintain the Public Health Grant, but this is being maintained at a level that is too low to fund the number of health visitors needed to support all families, respond to rising levels of need and identify vulnerable babies and young children.

“Investment in health visiting is needed to provide the prevention and early intervention support to stop the well-reported growing tsunami of children in crisis. This cannot wait any longer – our nation’s children deserve better.”

The Institute of Health Visiting urges the Government to consider the implications of these findings on their plans to deliver the Start for Life vision to support families in giving their baby the best start in life.

We call on the Government to make good their pledge to ‘rebuild health visiting’ with 3 specific policy calls:

  1. Funding – We are calling for a £500 million ring-fenced uplift in the Public Health Grant over the next three years to reverse years of cuts, deliver the Government’s pledge to ‘rebuild health visiting’, and ensure sufficient resource to deliver the full breadth of the Healthy Child Programme of prevention and early intervention to all families. A ring-fenced grant would provide protection from political cycles of disinvestment.
  2. Workforce – We need 5,000 more health visitors in England with the specialist community public health nursing skills to support families through prevention and early intervention, and address a multitude of physical and mental health needs, child development priorities, social issues and safeguarding concerns which can impact on outcomes for babies and young children. Workforce forecasting, training, recruitment, and retention plans are needed to address current capacity issues and predicted losses, build leadership capability, and support succession planning.
  3. Quality – An end to the ‘postcode lottery’ of health visitor support. Real, meaningful accountability in public service delivery is needed to ensure that families receive personalised and effective support to improve child outcomes and reduce inequalities wherever they live. The iHV is concerned that the Budget outcome metrics for Best Start all relate to ‘education’ and that ‘health’ has been overlooked. History has shown us that ‘you get what you measure’ and, without effective levers to assure the quality of health visiting services, this will lead to further erosion of preventative public health and weaken the health visiting contribution to multiple health pathways.

The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a report looking at the provision of early years services for children across the country, alongside a warning that many nurseries are at risk of closure, hitting the life chances of some of the most vulnerable children and holding back the economic recovery following lockdown.

The report, ‘Best Beginnings’, is an in-depth examination of early years provision in England. It describes a system that is disjointed and often failing to target those disadvantaged children with development problems who most need early help.

It comes amid a recent warning from childcare providers that one in four nurseries and pre-schools fear closure within the year, rising to one in three in the most disadvantaged areas, as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, commented: 

“Best beginnings is a powerful and very well researched report from Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner and her team. It recommends a strengthened holistic, cross-government approach to ensuring that every infant is supported to meet its full potential, whether through strengthened community services, including health visiting, or a strengthened childcare/nursery offer.

“I particularly liked the starting point: There are certain things that every baby needs as the foundations for a healthy, happy life:

  1. Loving, nurturing relationships with parents and carers
  2. A safe home free from stress and adversity
  3. The right help to develop good language and other cognitive skills
  4. Support to manage behaviour and regulate their emotions
  5. Good physical and mental health and access to healthcare”

“Helping parents achieve this for their infants is the essence of health visiting.”

The report shows the need for an overhaul of the early years system in England. It details how too many children, particularly those growing up in disadvantaged families, are already behind by the time they start formal education. Last year, 29% of five- year-olds in England were not at the expected level of development by the time they started school, including 45% of children receiving Free School Meals. In Middlesbrough, 38% of children are not achieving the expected level of development aged 5, while in Dudley and Sandwell it is 35% of children.

The report sets out how starting school behind can undermine children’s life chances. The Commissioner’s office analysed data on all children in England who had not met the expected level on half of their early learning goals at age 5 and tracked them through to the end of primary school. These children were:

  • five times as likely to end up being excluded by age 10
  • twice as likely to have had contact with children’s social care by age 11
  • three times more likely to be struggling with reading at age 11
  • four times more likely to be struggling with writing at age 11.

Recent research also shows these children are more likely to leave school with no GCSEs, more likely to suffer some form of mental ill health and more likely to be obese.

The Children’s Commissioner is calling for a new ‘Best Beginnings’ early years investment plan, ranging from Children and Family hubs to midwives and health visitors, to tackle these problems at the beginning of a child’s life rather than waiting until crises develop in later years. While some foundations of an excellent early years service are already in place, the Children’s Commissioner is urging the Government to bring together and turbocharge these services into one system which provides first class provision that works for families and ensures that all children, including the most disadvantaged, get the best possible start in life.

The Children’s Commissioner makes a number of recommendations including:

  • An emergency recovery package for the childcare providers whose finances have been worst affected by Covid-19. Government should also reconsider the design of Universal Credit which makes it hard for lower earning families to get help with childcare, as parents have to pay costs upfront and then wait to be repaid.
  • An expanded offer of 30 hours free childcare and early education for all children aged two, three and four, and 15 free hours for all one-year-olds, so that early years education is seen as part of ordinary life, in the same way that school is.
  • A cross-government ‘Best Beginnings’ strategy led by a Cabinet Minister for the Early Years. This would set out how a revitalised and extended Healthy Child Programme, the Early Years Foundation Stage, Children and Family Hubs, antenatal services and the Troubled Families Programme would work together.
  • A Family Guarantee of support for under-fives and their families delivered by health visitors, early help and Troubled Families workers, family nurses or family support workers based in Family Hubs.
  • A national infrastructure of Children and Family Hubs. These would be a centre point of support for children and families and act as a gateway to multiple services. Each hub would be a base for universal services so that every child is reached.
  • A Government review of early education and childcare funding to ensure it is working as effectively as possible to help children and families who need it most.
  • A single system for supporting families with early years education and childcare, with fees charged in relation to families’ incomes as they are in Sweden and Norway.
  • A national workforce strategy for the early years, focusing on staffing across existing health, local government and early years settings.
  • Better sharing of data between different services, so children who need help do not fall through the gaps or go unidentified. This should include more effective use of a child’s NHS number and Unique Pupil Number so it is possible to match children in different databases.

Today, over 40 leading mental health, family and children’s charities and professional bodies are calling on national and local decision makers to give urgent attention to the wellbeing of babies, toddlers and their parents during the COVID-19 crisis.

While recognising the incredible work done over recent weeks by politicians, policy makers and dedicated front-line professionals, the charities are highlighting the need to protect unborn and very young children and their parents from the serious harm as a result of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The statement comes in response to decisions from some local areas to redeploy significant numbers of staff from vital services such a health visiting, perinatal mental health and parent-infant teams that would normally support parents and safeguard babies. In some areas of England at least 50% of these highly skilled staff are being redeployed into other health services.

The organisations, which form part of the First 1001 Days Movement, describe the huge risks faced by some babies and toddlers as a result of increased pressure on already vulnerable parents, and the scaling back of services that would normally support them. They argue that babies, both born and unborn, and their parents should be given particular attention as this is a critical period with serious immediate and long-term consequences.

In a joint statement, the charities state that:

“It has already been widely recognised that for some people, home is not a safe haven. Across the UK, there are babies and children in lockdown in poor quality and overcrowded housing, with shortages of basic supplies, cared for by parents under immense pressure. Babies, born and unborn, are particularly vulnerable to physical and emotional harm because they are at a critical stage in their development, are fragile, totally dependent on adults for their care, and unable to speak out or seek help. Therefore, it is essential that Government is keeping their needs in mind.”

Research shows that, prior to the crisis, between 10-20% of women experienced mental health problems in the perinatal period[1] and 25,000 babies in England live in households where their parent or parents are already struggling with at least two significant issues – parental mental illness, domestic abuse and/or substance misuse.[2] These problems are escalating during the COVID-19 crisis as a result of the range of stresses facing families.

The charities write that families will be struggling behind closed doors, unknown to services.

“We can’t expect that families in trouble will ask for help: we know that parents often hide their struggles for fear of stigma and judgement. Babies can’t speak out.”

The statement calls on local services to work together to ensure that there is sufficient support for parents, and protection for children, not only for families known to be at risk before the crisis, but also those families who may be experiencing new or heightened problems as a result of the crisis.

While many services are working hard to deliver services in different ways – such as phone calls, video consultations and online forums – the charities argue that these may not be enough to reach families suffering from multiple disadvantage, and to understand what is really happening to babies in those households.

The organisations are calling on the UK Government to:

  • Ensure that the physical and emotional needs of the youngest children are considered more explicitly and transparently by those making decisions about the response to COVID-19. Provide clarity on who in high-level decision making forums, such as COBRA, is representing the needs of babies and their parents.
  • Provide clear guidance for health and social services on maintaining vital support for families. This must encourage an informed and coordinated local approach in each area that draws on partnerships between statutory agencies and charities (utilising any local volunteers effectively and appropriately) to ensure all families get the support they need. This guidance should minimise the re-deployment of staff from community services, in particular health visiting, parent-infant and perinatal mental health teams, recognising that these services provide essential support to families at highest risk and are needed more than ever. Decision makers must balance action to tackle COVID-19 with action to reduce its immediate and long-term negative impact on parents and the next generation.
  • Ensure that the strategy to end the lockdown considers the needs of babies and their families, and the services that work with them. Government must consider how services can swiftly and safely return to offering high-quality face to face support to families and how additional support can be put in place to mitigate the impacts of social distancing, particularly on the most vulnerable families.

The charities are calling for national leadership to champion the needs of the youngest children and their families, not only during the outbreak but also beyond it.

Sally Hogg, Head of Policy and Campaigning at the Parent-Infant Foundation and Coordinator of the First 1001 Days Movement, said:

“For a long time, charities, professionals and parliamentarians have called for there to be a senior Minister in Government with clear responsibility for the wellbeing of children – beginning in pregnancy. Perhaps if such a person had been in place, we would have seen more attention paid to the needs of the youngest children in response to COVID-19. Babies don’t have a voice. This is a time when they need someone to be speaking up for them, and championing their needs at the highest levels in Westminster and Whitehall.”

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England said:

“I support this statement from the 1001 Days Movement. While thankfully babies and toddlers seem to be at lower risk of COVID-19 illness, we know that many are vulnerable to a host of secondary risks. Lockdown places additional pressures on parental mental health, family finances and relationships, and leaves families without their support networks. Families with vulnerable young children need help in caring for, bonding with and supporting the development of their babies and toddlers.”

Notes to Editors:

  • The First 1001 Days Movement is a group of organisations and professionals that drive change together by inspiring, supporting and challenging national and local decision makers to value and invest in babies’ emotional wellbeing and development in the first 1001 days.
  • Organisations that signed the statement are listed below.
  • There is clear, compelling evidence from decades of research that the first 1001 days, from pregnancy to age 2, are a significant and influential phase in development. What happens during this period lays the foundation for every child’s lifelong health, well-being, learning and earnings potential. (For more information we suggest you look at previous publications and infographics by the First 1001 Days Movement )
  • Babies, before and after birth are vulnerable because they are small and fragile and completely dependent on parents for their care. Babies are over-represented in Serious Case Reviews which occur when a child dies or suffers serious harm. Reviews for DfE in 2012 and 2014 both found that at least 40% of Serious Case Reviews related to a child under one.
  • Evidence from China and Italy shows the increased prevalence of domestic abuse and safeguarding issues during lock down. In the UK, domestic abuse charities have reported a 25% increase in contacts in recent weeks and childline has also seen an increase in calls.
  • Vulnerable families are facing a huge number of pressures: economic hardship, job insecurity, isolation, anxiety about the virus and the stresses of lockdown. Babies will be affected by the lockdown – by the changes in routine and environment and the impact on their families. And the stress of the crisis will make it harder for some parents to provide babies with the safe, nurturing, responsive care that they need, and in a small but important number of cases may push families over the edge towards abuse.
  • The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health reported that senior paediatricians have contacted the RCPCH with reports of children arriving at hospitals with illnesses at a far more advanced stage than they would normally see. For babies, who are less physically resilient than older children, this may result in babies becoming seriously unwell.
  • Initial scoping information collated by the Institute of Health Visiting from health visitors in practice suggests that redeployment is being led locally and implemented differently by different areas. Health visiting workforce numbers in some parts of the UK  have been cut by 50-70%. In contrast, some areas have not redeployed any health visitors and a few have actually increased their health visiting establishment through redeployment of health visitors currently working in other roles, back to frontline health visiting practice.
  • Other organisations in the First 1001 Days Movement have heard from perinatal mental health and parent-infant teams where staff have been redeployed into other services.

Organisations that have signed the statement:

  • Action on Postpartum Psychosis
  • APEC
  • Approachable Parenting
  • Association of Breastfeeding Mothers
  • Best Beginnings
  • Birth Companions
  • Borne
  • Brazelton Centre UK
  • Breastfeeding Network
  • Building Bonds
  • Cattanach
  • Cocoon Family Support
  • Dad Matters
  • Easy Peasy
  • Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
  • Family Action
  • Family Links: The Centre for Emotional Health
  • First Steps Nutrition
  • GBSS
  • Home-start UK
  • ICP Support
  • Institute of Health Visiting
  • Make Birth Better
  • Mama Academy
  • Maternal Mental Health Alliance
  • Maternity Action
  • Mothers at Home Matter
  • NCB
  • NCT
  • One Plus One
  • Parent-Infant Foundation
  • Parents 1st
  • Petals
  • Sands
  • Solihull Approach
  • Stefanou Foundation (For Baby’s Sake)
  • Swansea University
  • The Association of Child Psychotherapists
  • Twins Trust

A number of member organisations provide online support for families during this crisis. Some examples that you might want to highlight for parents include:

  • Information from the iHV:
  • Baby Buddy is an NHS approved pregnancy and parenting app created by the charity Best Beginnings. It provides empowering and informing daily information, has over 300 practical films including films on maternal mental health, understanding your baby, supporting the couple relationship, breastfeeding and more. It sign-posts to scores of other charities, has a direct route to the 24/7 Baby Buddy Crisis Messenger and actively supports families whose children are at higher risk of poorer outcomes.  To find out more and download Baby Buddy go to:
  • Best Beginnings are also collating information from other charities about the support available for families during the crisis. This information will be available here from Thursday 9th April :
  • The Breastfeeding Network and other charities are providing infant feeding support for families: …
  • FamilyLine is a free service available to support adult family members on all aspects of family life issues via telephone, text message and email. Whether it’s emotional support or practical advice on any aspect of parenting or broader family issues, call: 0808 802 6666, text: 07537 404282 or email: [email protected]
    Monday to Friday: 9am – 9pm. The helplines will be covered by SHOUT our text crisis line outside these hours including weekends and bank holidays.
  • EasyPeasy is an award winning digital home learning service proven to support children’s early development (ages 0-5) through inspiring playful interactions. The app has been made FREE until May 31st and offers access to hundreds of activities, game ideas, tips and advice for parents of young children.
  • For Baby’s Sake supports both parents over the 1001 first days, starting in pregnancy, to bring an end to domestic abuse and support their baby’s early development.  This programme is continuing to work with mothers and fathers remotely, particularly using video technology, using techniques to reduce the risks of domestic abuse and increase physical and emotional safety.  The Stefanou Foundation, which created the programme, is sharing their learning, including guidance for professionals on reducing trauma risks and building resilience during COVID‑19, which may be downloaded from
  • Birth Companions specialises in working with women facing multiple disadvantage during pregnancy and early motherhood. The charity has adapted its face-to-face services in light of COVID-19 to focus on providing ongoing phone and email support, practical mother and baby essentials such as clothing, nappies and baby slings, and tailored antenatal information packs delivered electronically and through the post.  More information is available at

[1] Bauer, A., Parsonage, M., Knapp, M., Iemmi, V., & Adelaja, B. (2014). Costs of perinatal mental health problems.

[2] Miles, A. (2018). A Crying Shame A report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner into vulnerable babies in England

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has published a new report that brings together a range of information held by various government departments, agencies and others to reveal the scale of child vulnerability in England.

The report, “The Children’s Commissioner’s 2018 Report into Childhood Vulnerability”, estimates that 2.1 million of England’s 11.8 million children – one in six – are living in families with risks so serious that they need some level of help. The study also warns that for 1.6 million of those vulnerable children, the support is effectively ‘invisible’ – we don’t know if they are actually getting any coordinated help, despite the difficulties they are growing up with. Some of the risks these children face include parents with mental health problems or parents who are alcoholics or have substance abuse problems.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting, commented:

“The Institute of Health Visiting welcomes this very helpful report looking at the current status of services for our most vulnerable babies and children.  It is very sad to see how the cuts to local authority children’s and public health funding have resulted in so many more children being put into expensive and life changing care proceedings.

“We welcome the Commissioner’s call for more investment into health visiting services for the most vulnerable babies, but this also needs to extend to the universal service for all families.  We know that the majority of need isn’t conspicuous.

Dr Adams continued:

“Well trained and resourced health visiting services can not only prevent children ever needing referral to care services, but also ensure that all vulnerable babies are identified long before their difficulties become overt and needing referral for specialist help. Through their support to parents, health visitors can help to ensure all children have a more positive start in life with the service seeking to avoid children ever needing care proceedings.

“Investing early to save later needs to be a new direction for policy. It could have huge implications for the health and welfare of many vulnerable or potentially vulnerable children and families, whilst resulting in many savings to the exchequer.”


Today’s #HVWeek topic: The health conversation – nutrition, dental care, lifestyle and exercise, accident prevention, particularly the health of migrant and vulnerable groups.

Due to the pressure created by having less contact time, how do you ensure the right health messages reach families?  It would be great to know how services ensure that vulnerable groups get good access to appropriate services and information.

Welcome back to Day 3 of national #HVweek

It is already Day 3 of national #HVweek17! We have really enjoyed seeing all your tweets and contributions so far this week, especially some of your contributions from children about what health visitors do. If you would like to submit a contribution of what your family thinks you do as a health visitor, please share on social media with #ProudtobeaHV or send it to us to share out.

Today’s theme focuses on health conversations and supporting health and lifestyle changes in families. With so much ground to cover and less contact time, how do you get alongside parents to ensure the right health messages reach families and really make every contact count?

To support your work in this area we are showcasing just some of our wide-ranging resources, including our Good Practice Points for working with minority groups. Why not take a look again at our e-learning, Good Practice Points, Voices blogs, videos and toolkits?


Our two e-learning modules on Child Accident Prevention, developed with Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) and iHV Fellow Amanda Whelan, are free to access and designed especially for health visitors.

They are designed especially for health visitors, and are underpinned by research, policy and practice guidance for reducing unintentional injuries to children under the age of 5 in and around the home, as well as existing NICE guidelines on this topic.

The iHV e-learning package on Disability Matters supports both newly-qualified and experienced health visitors in understanding some of the issues faced by families when they receive a diagnosis of disability or learning difficulty for their child/children.

Good Practice Points  (for members only)

Our Good Practice Points make excellent bite-sized CPD to update your practice, and reading and reflecting on them can count towards Individual Learning for your NMC revalidation. All our Good Practice Points are evidence-based, written by subject-specific experts and peer-reviewed prior to publication.

Good Practice Points (GPPs): Working with Minority Groups (for members only)

We also have a series of Good Practice Points (GPPs): Working with Minority Groups which have been designed for Health Visitors (HVs), especially for student and newly qualified HVs and relate to the wide variety of diverse communities we encounter in modern day practice.

These include good practice points on working with a variety of diverse communities such as: FGM; Gypsy & Travellers; Chinese families; Special Needs; Homeless to name a few.


For more inspiration read our refreshing Voices blogs from some inspirational and motivated practitioners, who share their practice and learning with us, including Trudi Law’s fantastic piece on Reducing Harm to Children from Unintentional Accidents (Homeless Families) or our pieces on the Ready Steady Mums initiative – our volunteer-led community-based socialcise programme for mums (and dads!)

Videos and Toolkits

Take a look at our videos and toolkits for community-based postnatal groups or building community capacity for more inspiration!

First Steps postnatal group resource pack – This accredited First Steps postnatal group resource pack has been developed and piloted by health visitors in Walsall around the six high impact areas for health visiting. The overarching aim of First Steps is to increase social capital and improve self-efficacy for the attending parents, ultimately improving outcomes for children and families.

The course is accredited as a 6-week postnatal group course to be delivered by health visitors as the lead facilitators for the programme.

Building Community Capacity – An Introductory Toolkit for Health Visitors – Health visitors require confidence to extend or renew their capabilities around building community capacity, taking advantage of social capital and resilience present in families and communities, and using the model for the development of the Community level of the service.

Parent Tips

Please share our top tips for parents on reducing accidents – there are quite a few parent tips sheets so here’s a link to the main page:

Please note that some of these resources are available to iHV members only.

If you’re not a member, please join us to get access to all of our resources.

The iHV is a self-funding charity – we can only be successful in our mission to strengthen health visiting practice if the health visiting profession and its supporters join us on our journey. We rely on our membership to develop new resources for our members.

So do join us now!

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