Parent Infant Mental Health Project


The Parent Infant Mental Health (PIMH) project is a new Citywide partnership project in Manchester between CAPS (Child and Parent Service), Health Visiting and Home-Start. It is based on a tried and tested model which has been run by Home start HOST (Home start Oldham, Stockport and Tameside) for several years.

The project looks at Attachment and Brain Development and how important a child’s experiences  during the first 2 years of their life are, and how those experiences can have long lasting effects on their future mental health and relationships. 

All volunteers who will support a family where PIMH support has specifically been requested have completed an additional 16 hours of training. The training is  co-delivered by CAPS service (Parent and Children Service), a Health Visitor and the Home-Start PIMH Coordinator.

Our specially trained PIMH Parent Volunteers and Family Support Worker will support families where the parent/s have mild to moderate mental ill health through weekly home visits for as long as the family need it. The support will be focused on the parents’ relationship with their unborn or young infant and may include;

– Enjoyable interactive activities and resources to help build a strong relationship both before and after birth

– An opportunity to explore all aspects of baby development including the amazing baby brain, how babies communicate, how we can help to calm and soothe babies in our fast-moving world, and other important developmental information

– Empower and encourage parents as the experts in their baby’s care and how they play the most important part of all

– Share evidence-based tools and techniques with parents to help them manage the transition to parenthood and the challenges it brings


Dear PIMH referral partner,

Regrettably, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily stop accepting referrals into the Home-Start Manchester service and this includes the PIMH project. Since the project started in early 2019 we have been blown away by the strength of partnership working, and the impact we are having with parents and their infants has exceeded our expectations! We didn’t anticipate such a high demand, with PIMH referrals now accounting for half of the organisation’s overall requests for support. With only 1.5 members of staff and a small team of volunteers we are working at full capacity and are still nearing a waiting list time of 6 months.

In line with the Babies Can’t Wait commitment and the nature of the support need, we do not feel it is fair, safe or ethical to have women and their babies wait such a long time for support. We’re also conscious of the work involved in a referral, with much of the information becoming irrelevant and inaccurate by the time the referral is allocated.

We would appreciate if you could circulate this information amongst your colleagues and we apologise in advance to anyone who receives the message after taking the time to complete a referral. From the 12pm 20/02/20 we are no longer able to accept them. 

We will inform you when we are nearing the time to re-open referrals. During the closure period we will be conducting a full review of the referral process and plan to make this easier and more open for referrers in the hope we can find a more effective way of managing demand.

We’d like to emphasise that the Home-Start service will be still very much active during this period and over 200 families over the year will have received our support.

Thank you for your continued support.

Become a volunteer with the project by requesting an application form by phone 0161 721 4493  Please specify your interest in this project! See our Become a PIMH Volunteer… page for more information 

For more information please contact project Coordinator Clare Blomley