Manchester Children and Parents’ Service: Parent Infant Mental Health

Here at CAPS we know that being a parent or carer is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. But we also know that it can be very difficult at times too, especially if there are other things going on in your life. It’s really normal to find some aspects of parenting difficult, or to find your child’s behaviour confusing and hard to manage.

The aim of CAPS is to support parents and carers to help their children to develop to their fullest potential. This includes supporting parents and carers with their children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties and to promote their school readiness.

CAPS is a multi-agency team made up of Clinical Psychologists, Specialist Health Visitors, and Parent Group Leaders providing community-based psychological support to Manchester families with children under 5. The service is led by the NHS in partnership with Manchester City Council, Family Action, Barnardo’s, Big Life, and Manchester Home-Start. We also have a strategic partnership with Adult Mental Health and IAPT services; and strong links with Outreach Workers and Health Visiting.

Our Place in the Greater Manchester Perinatal and Parent Infant Pathway. We are an integral part of the wider Greater Manchester Perinatal and Parent Infant Pathway and see our role as champions of the infants in Manchester, supporting our adult mental health colleagues to hold the baby in mind and offering specialist and timely support to families when it is needed.  We hope to ensure that the families we see can access all the services they need, for example by referring to and working alongside our IAPT self-help and perinatal mental health team colleagues.  We aim to work together with other services to ensure that infants and toddlers in Manchester receive the right intervention at the right time to enable them to thrive and develop good social and emotional wellbeing.

What support we offer

  • For Under 2s. Having a baby can be both an exciting and challenging time.  Our experienced Clinical Psychologists, Specialist Health Visitors, Parent Group Leaders and Peer Coaches provide needs led, evidence-based interventions in both one to one and group based formats to support families where there are developing difficulties in the relationship between parents /carers and their infants and young children.  These interventions have been chosen due to their effectiveness and include:
  • Incredible Years Baby Parent Programme. This course is for parents with babies aged 2 to 4 months. This 8 week (2 hour session) evidenced based programme supports parents to understand their baby and their cues and communication more fully and to explore how best to support their development and their growing relationship. Find out more about this course
  •  CAPS Preschool Psychology Clinic. We offer individual support to parents and carers in developing strong and secure bonds with their infant by using an intervention called Video Interaction Guidance; a strengths based intervention that aims to give individuals a chance to reflect on their interactions, drawing attention to elements that are successful, and supporting parents/ carers to make changes where desired. We also offer support to parents and carers whose children have gone through difficult times and help them to understand the impact on the child’s wellbeing and behaviour. This includes supporting carers who have Special Guardianship Orders.

Where we work. We aim to see families as early as possible, locally in their community and to be flexible to families when offering support. We run courses and our Preschool Psychology Clinic in the Sure Start Children’s Centres across Manchester. We also offer appointments for our Preschool Psychology Clinic at one of our three bases or at a family’s home if this is more convenient.

How to access CAPS. We can accept self-referrals and referrals from most health and social care colleagues.  We welcome and encourage telephone calls to talk about what we offer and to decide how we can best help.

  • Referrals to Incredible Years Parent Programmes. Referrals to our course programmes are made by telephone by Early Years Professionals to the Parent Group Leader in your area. Examples are your child’s Health Visitor, GP, Paediatrician, Social Worker or Outreach Worker. The Group Leader will then contact you to arrange a time to meet for an appointment.
  • Referrals to CAPS Preschool Psychology Clinic. Referrals to the Preschool Psychology Clinic are made by email or post by Early Years Professionals direct to the CAPS office. Examples are your child’s Health Visitor, GP, Paediatrician, Social Worker or Outreach Worker You will receive a letter offering an appointment dated within 11 weeks of this referral.

For professionals. As well as seeing families directly, we also offer specialist consultation and training to Early Years and other professionals working with infants as well as supervision to our partners.

We also provide services for 2-4 year olds and you can find out more about them here 

How to get in touch. We have three geographical bases.  Please contact us using the following details: