Supporting the Public Health Agency

We are currently supporting the work of the Public Health Agency (PHA) through the Child Development Project Board, which develops evidence-based interventions and support for those aged 0–18 in Northern Ireland.

We have focussed mostly on the early years (pre-birth to three years) across a range of projects.

Developing an infant mental health framework

We’re developing a framework to give every child in Northern Ireland the best start in life by highlighting the importance of positive social and emotional development in the early years.

The framework focuses on three key themes:

  1. Evidence and Policy: a commitment to ensure that policy, practice and service development are informed by the most up-to-date evidence on child development and infant mental health.

  2. Workforce development: prioritising the need for practitioners to be fully equipped to promote positive social and emotional development, to identify any issues at an early stage, and seek timely help for families at risk.

  3. Service development: highlighting the importance of appropriate services to support parents and promote healthy social and emotional development of infants.

After engagement with key stakeholders (including policy makers, practitioners and parents) the draft IMH framework was released for public consultation last year and can be found here.

Support for infant mental health training

To aid workforce development, the PHA have provided training and support around infant mental health through programmes including Video Interaction Guidance, the Solihull Approach and Tavistock Diploma in Infant Mental Health.

We provide impact measurement and implementation support to ensure that the training and development programmes are making a difference to practice and therefore to the lives of children and families.

Support for parenting programmes

We are working with the PHA to coordinate delivery of the Strengthening Families Programme across Northern Ireland.  We host an advisory group, support networking and sharing of good practice, and provide implementation and impact measurement support.

In addition, we provide wider evidence and sharing of good practice to inform the development of parenting policy and support across Northern Ireland.

For more information on our audit of parenting programmes in Northern Ireland, click here.

Contact us

For more information about this project, contact