Help for Professionals

Wigan Building Attachments and Bonds Support (BABS) is a specialist multidisciplinary community based team that provides assessment, consultation, training, supervision and intervention to professionals and parents supporting the development of healthy bonds and relationships from the very beginning.

We invite mums, dads and carers and guardians to engage with our service. We offer support and intervention from conception to three years of age.

At Wigan BABS we place infants and children at the heart of our work. We focus on promoting positive infant mental health, increasing children’s capacity to experience, regulate and express emotions, form close and secure relationships and explore the environment and learn.

Research strongly indicates early intervention is essential in achieving the best possible outcomes for children.

Who we support

Infants or children who:

  • Look anxious, tense, distressed or fearful
  • Are displaying poor signs of attachment
  • Have current experience of adverse childhood experiences, abuse or trauma
  • Show developmental delay
  • Were born prematurely

Parental or professional concerns regarding:

  • Parent struggling with the experience of being pregnant or being a parent
  • Pregnancy or parenting intensifying previous trauma or mental health difficulties
  • Lack of bonding or attachment, in the antenatal period and following birth
  • Ambivalence towards their pregnancy, infant or child
  • An inability to recognise and respond appropriately to their infant or child cues
  • Negativity and/or hostility towards their infant or child or unborn child
  • Previous attachment or parent-infant difficulties

Parents and families with additional vulnerabilities such as:

  • History of adverse childhood experiences or trauma
  • Mild, moderate or severe mental health problems such as depression or anxiety present prior to conception
  • Previous experience of children removed from their care
  • Teenage or young parents

How we work with families and professionals?

Our approach with our families is flexible and needs led and can be in the form of:

  • Home visits
  • Drop-in sessions
  • Group sessions or direct work
  • One-to-one assessment, support and direct therapeutic work with parents, carers and their infant or child.

We aim to support and work alongside professionals by offering:

  • Telephone or bookable face-to-face consultation and advice
  • Joint work with referrers
  • Training opportunities across agencies
  • Clinical supervision
  • Shared risk support in line with national THRIVE framework

How to access our service?

To access support, the parent must be pregnant or have a baby or toddler under three years old at the time of referral and must be registered with a Wigan GP Wigan.

Requesting a professionals consultation

If you would like to discuss suitability prior to referral or would like some advice around a family you’re working with, please complete our consultation form below and we will arrange a convenient time to contact you.

BABS Consultation Form

Following consultation it may be agreed that the family would benefit from our support and a referral can then be made.

Making a referral

Referrals can be made via any health or care professional working with the parent registered with a Wigan GP using our BABS service. 

We will acknowledge the referral and make contact with the family within five working days.

What to do if they are experiencing a mental health crisis

If you are looking after a parent who you believe is experiencing a mental health crisis and requires an urgent response, please contact the Mental Health Urgent Response Team on 01942 636 395 (available 24 hours a day).