Allied and Health Workers are being invited to apply for a scholarship to attend a nationally accredited infant mental health promotion training course delivered by Australian charity Baby in Mind, in partnership with Relationships Australia SA.
The four-day training qualifies graduates to deliver the First Touch Program – a low-cost relationship-based intervention. Activities in the program involve a mix of infant massage, healthy touch, voice, singing, pacing, eye-gazing, movement and other interactions and are designed to help parents recognise and sensitively respond to their own baby’s cues and communication, and to promote healthy serve-and-return relationships.
Backed by a strong body of research, including Randomised Controlled Trials and comparative evaluations, the First Touch Program is in wide use in diverse settings across Australia. For example, RASA was recently recognized in the NAPCAN (National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) Awards for their use of the First Touch Program with vulnerable families. Other professionals attending the training include those working with families in disability, homelessness, addiction, neonatal intensive care, criminal justice, mental health, and child protection settings.
Deb Lockwood, Manager of Child and Youth Programs at RASA says “We’ve seen consistent benefits for families since integrating the First Touch Program across our services. It promotes a level of connection and responsiveness that many of the families we support struggling with. The program is highly responsive, so we’ve been able to use it across our services, including in our work supporting Aboriginal families in remote areas. Because it is deeply grounded in relationship-based practice The First Touch Program also has the added benefit of being an effective “gateway” for more vulnerable clients, helping us to connect them into more intensive and long-term services that they would otherwise be reluctant to try. The knowledge that staff gain through this program has also been very valuable in building a trauma-informed culture in our organisation – one that is deeply inclusive and sensitive to the mental health needs of babies”.
This scholarship to attend the First Touch Program training is funded through a donation from computer software company, Zoho. It covers the course and registration fees for a worker who is providing direct support to families caring for a baby where there has been a history or significant risk of abuse or neglect. The scholarship can be taken in any capital city where Baby in Mind provide the training course throughout the year.
To find out more and to apply for this, or other, scholarships please visit: http://iaim.org.au/zoho-infant-mental-health-scholarship.htm
Download the Scholarship Flyer here.