Dorset Parent Infant Partnership (DorPIP) is a unique, specialist early intervention and preventative service. Focusing on the very special relationship between parents and infants that develops in the first 1001 critical days of life, we help families who are struggling to form safe, secure relationships with their infants. 

We aim to create a society where children have the best possible start in life and can flourish through attuned parenting, early bonding and the development of healthy attachment as they grow. 

What we do...

Independent and community-based, the service operates as a central point of expertise, using a network of specialist therapists who are trained in working in parent and infant relationships from conception to aged two.  

The service is for anyone who’s struggling with the transition to parenthood in terms of the family relationships. This might be parent and child, or parent and parent, which in turn affects the child. 

We help parents and primary carers to bond and attune with their baby through parent-infant therapy, attachment-led infant massage and on-line facilitated peer support groups. 

We educate other professionals to work in an attachment-focused way, teaching them to identify known risk factors and so offer early help, prevent adverse childhood experiences and enable parents and their babies to reach their full potential.  

By communicating the importance of attachment-focused care to professionals with family involvement we hope to effect change in practices and policies. 

Look here to find out how we can work with you to enhance your knowledge and skills. 

Why we do it...

It has been estimated that more than 5,000 parent infant relationships are at risk in Dorset every year. “For every child subject to a child protection plan or on a child protection register in the UK, we estimate that there are likely to be around eight other children who have suffered maltreatment.” (NSPCC, 2013, 'How Safe are our Children').  

In 2019, Dorset Children Services reported 415 children, and BCP Children Services reported 214 children, as having care protection plans. With  629 children in our county being known to be at risk, following the findings of the NSPCC, this means there are potentially 5,032 more. 

A baby’s earliest relationship with their primary care givers is the most significant. It is likely to affect their personality, health, friendships and work patterns over their lifetime. 

The first 1001 days of a child’s life - from conception to age two - provides a window of opportunity to impact on health outcomes throughout their lifespan, including long-term implications for the child’s brain and emotional development and their resilience to stress. 

Research suggests that individuals who are less emotionally resilient develop poor coping strategies which will impact physical and mental health over the course of their life, leading to further emotional and social complications. 

How DorPIP will help

By working holistically with families to provide early intervention through universal parent-infant therapy, attachment-led infant massage and online or in person facilitated peer support groups.  

By treating the root cause rather than the effect of ACE's we can improve life chances of infants and improve society.  

We can also end cycles of abuse, helping to prevent adverse childhood experiences.

How to access our services...

We welcome referrals from across Dorset and surrounding areas. We are a small charity and our funders are keen to support local families who are resident in Dorset. 

Referrals are accepted from maternity services, maternal mental health services, health visitors, GPs, children's centres, children's social services and frontline professionals.  

DorPIP services are available online,  in children's centres, GPs premises and, where appropriate, in client's home across the county. 

If you would like help a family you are working with, please do get in touch with us.