Supporting young mothers (aged 14-25) in the first two years of life


Supporting young mothers (aged 14-25) in the first two years of life:  a randomized control trial (RCT) of the NSPCC Minding the Baby (MTB) home visiting programme


The primary aim is to promote caregiver sensitivity, and, secondly, to promote both maternal and child socio-emotional outcomes.


Young mothers living in adverse contexts often are exposed to significant and chronic environmental difficulties including poverty, social isolation and poor education and typically have to cope with personal histories of abuse and mental health issues.  MTB is an interdisciplinary intensive home based visiting programme developed to support first time young mothers, which integrates primary care and mental health approaches into a layered and integrated intervention programme delivered from the last trimester of pregnancy to the child’s second birthday.


This is a NSPCC sponsored multi-site randomised control trial (RCT) with a target recruitment of 200 first time mothers (<26 years old) exploring the effectiveness of an integrated and preventive home visitation intervention programme for vulnerable first time young parents and their babies. 

Multimodal and trans-theoretical inter-disciplinary and integrated interventions are delivered by a nurse/midwife and a social worker/psychotherapist in accord with the fidelity of the model. The relationship among the clinician(s), mother, and baby is the primary agent of change. Interventions focus on maternal mental health issues as wells as parent-infant interactions, parental needs and concerns and developmental outcomes. Clinicians receive intensive training in the unique incorporation of the physical and mental health components of the interventions involved as well as on-going inter-disciplinary reflective supervision.

The School of Healthcare is contracted to deliver interdisciplinary mentalisation based clinical supervision and monitor fidelity to the programme model.

Key Collaborators:

NSPCC, University College London, University of Leeds, Anna Freud Centre, Yale Child Study Centre, Yale School of Nursing.

Funding body

NSPCC, Maximum Fee of £114,816.00 (March 2015 – October 2017) for the services provided by Freshwater and Mountain (except expenses).  In addition £27,000 for a part-funded studentship.


Dr Gary Mountain, Associate Professor in Child and Family Health, School of Healthcare.