Through Each Other’s Eyes
Through Each Other's Eyes is a project to train and supervise a group of health visitors and family support workers working in the Haringey area to deliver video interaction guidance (VIG) to new parents on their caseload.
Compared to the national average, the Child Health Profile in Haringey suggests that there are higher levels of families living in poverty, those in care and those living with homeless – and we know that children facing these challenges may be at greater risk of developing emotional, social and behavioural problems and would therefore benefit from additional support.
We are offering VIG universally to the families in the Haringey area to avoid families feeling stigmatized, which is further supported by the globally elevated levels of deprivation.
What is video interaction guidance?
It is a six-session, strengths-based, video-feedback intervention carried out in the home that encourages parents to watch and reflect on video clips of naturally occurring successful interactions with their babies, while exploring areas that parents themselves have identified as concerns eg understanding their baby’s needs.
Why video interaction guidance?
VIG is a unique and innovative intervention, as unlike other available programmes in the UK it improves outcomes for both parents and their infants, and can be delivered to both mothers and fathers.
VIG has been designed to support and empower a range of families, but has been found in previous projects to work particularly well with families facing certain life challenges such as poverty, housing issues, and mental health problems. In these families it has been found to improve mental health, build self-confidence and strengthen the quality of parent-infant relationships with their babies.
It has also helped families to link in with peer- and community-based networks, including ultimately getting them back into employment (Kennedy et al., 2010). Improving the quality of the parent-infant relationship is also associated with parents’ making health-promoting choices, such as giving up smoking and eating healthily. All these factors will in turn optimise the social, emotional, cognitive and language development of their infants and reduce the attainment gap.
Who are we working with?
We are working with a range of organisations across Haringey to deliver this project, including early help services, primary care, maternity, infant mental health and health visiting services.
Who funded the Through Each Other’s Eyes project?
The project has been funded for 12 months by the Health Education England Innovation Fund 2015/2016
We have evaluated the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention – both in terms of exploring how the health visitors and family support workers found delivering VIG and how the families found receiving it. We also looked at the impact to families of receiving the intervention in relation to parental mental health, parenting and parent-infant relationship quality.