Research shows strong demand for NCSPIR

Press Release – 7 May 2024

Tavistock Relationships will open a National Centre for the Supervision of Parent-Infant Relationships (NCSPIR) in May. The Centre will provide clinical supervision to practitioners working with parents and infants and is part of Government’s Family Hubs and Start for Life programme. To ensure the service meets the needs of the local authority areas it is designed to serve, Tavistock Relationships surveyed 75 local authorities.

Our findings, based on responses from almost 50 local authorities, showed that parent-infant relationship work is described and delivered in a wide variety of ways across different local authority areas. In some areas it is regarded as specialist work, targeted where a parent’s mild to moderate mental health issues have been identified, while in others it is offered universally from pregnancy until the child is ready for school.

We also discovered that some local authority areas are using interventions with a built in supervision model, including Triple P, Video Interactive Guidance and the Solihull Approach. However, this supervision does not support any other work a practitioner may be doing with families.

With regard to the kind of services the NCSPIR should be providing, the survey demonstrated that:

  • Regular access to qualified clinical supervisors and training in clinical supervision of parent-infant relationships are top priorities for practitioners.
  • At least a quarter of practitioners are currently not receiving any supervision.
  • Almost half say their supervisors have not been trained, or that they were not aware of any training.
  • The majority of respondents did not know who supervised their supervisors.
  • Demand for supervision varies across local authority areas with some needing immediate attention, some looking at the near future and others keen to have more information from the NCSPIR.
  • In addition to supervision, practitioners would like access to current thinking and research, digital resources to support reflective practice, a peer community to share best practice, and tools to measure the effectiveness of clinical supervision.

Andrew Balfour, CEO of Tavistock Relationships says:

“We are delighted that so many local authorities took the time to respond to our survey. This data gives us a unique insight into how parent-infant relationship work is currently supervised in England. There is work to be done and the Centre will provide an excellent platform to address the variety of issues we are seeing in different local authority areas. We have recruited a highly skilled team of supervisors who we will match with the needs of each local authority, and we are excited to be getting underway with this vital programme of support for parent-infant services across the country”

The NCSPIR team of expert clinical supervisors will be providing tailored online supervision groups from May 2024. In addition, NCSPIR will offer supervision of supervisors to local authorities who believe they would benefit from this service.

Read an executive summary of the research report.


About Tavistock Relationships

TR has been helping individuals, couples and families experiencing relationship difficulties since 1948. The charity is a leading authority in couple psychotherapy, undertaking research, providing world class clinical training and delivering programmes to support couples and families to have better relationships.