The idea of providing specialised services that target the relationship between caregiver (usually but not invariably a biological parent) and baby or toddler is one that has become increasingly mainstream over the last decade, and clinical provision in the statutory and voluntary sectors has begun to build up. Such early intervention is proactive rather than waiting for a problem to arise. The prime aim is to prevent maltreatment. It is important to have at hand the rationale behind such provision; and the ‘1001 Critical Days’ campaign and the recent APPG Report ‘Building Greater Britons’ (2015) has triggered a wide surge of interest (www.1001criticaldays.co.uk) that has the potential to open up a lot of opportunities across the United Kingdom. This chapter gives an overview of the reasons for allocating therapeutic resources during pregnancy and infancy rather than only providing the more established and expensive reactive services that pick up the pieces in the following years. As these are preventative services, where the intervention ideally is on the basis of risk, not symptom or damage, and also because the patient is not an individual but rather the caregiving relationship, it will be argued that such provision does not always belong within statutory services but sometimes might be better seen as an independent multidisciplinary team, preferably based close to the families they will serve within a children’s centre. The latter increases accessibility, and goes some way to decrease stigma.
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