Parents with Babies

For parents or carers of children under 12 months old.

The changes and challenges of becoming a parent can be huge but many of us find that the support we can access focuses on our baby. Our Being Family programme, however, concentrates on you as the parent.

The service consists of an online group and wraparound tailored 1:1 volunteer support, either in your home, community spaces or over the phone. Any parent/family with a child under 12 months old (at the start of the group) is eligible for this service. This service is gender inclusive and welcomes anyone who is part of the LGBT+ community and their family.

Our Being Family group runs over six weeks and supports parents with young babies with the changes and challenges that the arrival of a new baby may bring. The programme is for both first-time parents and those who already have older children.

A group setting encourages the sharing of stories and worries with other parents who can relate to your situation, helping you understand and support your baby to progress in line with their developmental milestones. Interacting with other parents can help ease the feelings of isolation which can develop while we are at home caring for our new baby.

We are currently running the Being Family group via Zoom.

As part of the Being Family programme, we also offer 1-2-1 Volunteer support. Only clients accessing our Being Family group are eligible for this support.

Weekly topics include:

  • Introduction and sharing stories of how the baby came into the family
  • Identity changes associated with becoming a parent
  • Wellbeing and adjusting to a new routine and family demands
  • Bonding and attachment
  • Co-parenting and other supportive relationships
  • Learning and development activities for babies
Being Family 3

We are now able to provide devices or data/minutes packages for clients requiring technology in order to access our services.

Please get in touch if this applies to you or someone you are working with to discuss support.

Parent Feedback


The session about co-parenting was really helpful and my partner has been starting to take our baby out for walks and developing relationship with her, also giving me a bit of a break!


No particular favourite session, however, I really valued a bit of everything. I found the affirmation that I was on the right track as well as the extra tips helpful.


It is nice to talk to someone, have an adult conversation with somebody that does not judge.


Having an outside person to talk to, someone completely outside of the situation is very helpful


Please click here to fill in our Home-Start referral form.

Anyone can self-refer or a professional carer can refer a new parent on their behalf.

Please note, there is a waiting list for this service. We will inform you of approximate waiting times upon receipt of referral.

The content of the Being Family programme has been written in line with Unicef’s Baby Friendly Initiative. For more information about this, please click here.

Having Trouble with our Online Form?

Please click here to download a paper version of the Being Family Referral Form (Word, 77Kb)

Frequently Asked Questions

Any parents/carers of new babies will benefit from this programme since it addresses many of the issues that any parents face with the arrival of a new baby.

However, the programme would particularly benefit those who are suffering from postnatal depression, feeling isolated, struggling with their mental health, have a history of domestic abuse or experienced a difficult or traumatic birth.

Parents/carers can let us know anything they are particularly struggling with in our intake calls, and we adapt our programme to address all clients’ individual needs.

Anyone can complete an Referral Form whether it is on behalf of themselves or others.

If an agency would like us to support one of their service users, it is their responsibility to consult with them and get consent to share the personal information requested on the form. We will follow up all Referral Forms.

Alternatively, clients can call the Programme Lead, Egle, on 07395 791374 for a friendly chat. We will always respond to you within five working days.

Referrals can be made by submitting a Referral Form.

If an agency is referring on behalf of a service user, they must ensure that the service user has given consent for the referral.

Our Programme Lead, Egle, will also be happy to have a chat about referrals, please contact her on 07395 791374. We will always respond to you within five working days.


HSES provides a valuable service as part of the coordinated efforts to assist parents across East Sussex as they welcome a new baby, and we are committed to working with other agencies to promote, support and improve the services available locally to parents of new babies.

Since the programme is unsuitable for those whose child is over 12 months old, we will let the referrer know and will be able to signpost the client towards other appropriate services.

Where it is identified that a client needs additional support that we are unable to provide, for example with breastfeeding or in cases where clients’ babies have specific additional needs, we will signpost clients to a specialist local service.

We aim to make first contact with new clients within five days of receiving all key referral information, to acknowledge receipt of the referral, confirm eligibility and share when and where the next programmes will run.

Once eligibility is confirmed, clients will either be allocated to a specific programme or join a waiting list depending on whether a programme is planned in the area. We will discuss information sharing and support planning with clients. When appropriate, we will also discuss the progress of the referral with referrers, subject to data protection.

If there are no spaces left on an upcoming course, the client will be asked if they want to go on a waiting list.

Similarly, if a referral has been made after week one of the programme, the client will be added to the waiting list to attend a future programme. Referrers will be updated if a client has been enrolled onto a programme or added to the waiting list.

The Being Family programme is designed to support parents of new babies with the changes and challenges they face welcoming a new baby, beyond just teaching them about their baby’s needs.

Our aim is to provide a space for new parents to share their experiences and gain an understanding of the diversity and similarity of experiences that come with parenthood. We discuss postnatal depression and other issues which may get in the way of parent-baby bonding, including the challenges of co-parenting and single parenthood.  We believe that looking after your own wellbeing is just as important as caring for your baby.

Home-Start recognises that becoming a parent is one of the biggest challenges and changes someone will face, and they will receive no training for it! We aim to make it a little bit easier.

There are six weekly sessions each lasting 1.5 hours, which includes some unstructured time to build friendships with other people who have also recently had a new baby. Groups are held remotely via the Zoom software with around 10 people attending each programme. Sessions are run by sensitive and understanding facilitators who can tailor the programme to clients’ individual needs.

The Being Family group is being delivered virtually until further notice.

Clients on the Being Family group will also have access to a friendly volunteer who will either visit the family’s home, meet with them in community spaces or chat with them over the phone. (dependent on availability of volunteers in the family's area).

All essential information is recorded within individual case files, which are only accessible to authorised staff.

We treat all information with strict confidentiality except where there are child or adult safeguarding concerns. Our procedures of information sharing with other services and the role of other agencies is clearly explained to clients during the intake process.

Home-Start East Sussex’s Being Family programme has been written in line with Unicef’s Baby Friendly Initiative standards, a scheme that guarantees a quality standard of education for programme attendees.

The Baby Friendly Initiative standards provided a roadmap for the programme content to be specifically tailored to support parents with feeding and to help parents to build a close and loving relationship with their baby – ensuring the best outcomes for both parent and baby. The programme was developed by staff with a specialist academic background in the psychology of the family alongside a team of experienced parents, making the programme a holistic combination of psychological expertise and real world experience.

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