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Infant Massage supporting Aboriginal Parents and Children – National SNAICC Conference 2017

By | Blog, Member News, News, Projects And Programs | No Comments
During the past three days, over 1,200 people gathered in Canberra for the national SNAICC2017 Conference.

SNAICC, the peak-body in Australia representing the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, included not one, but two presentations in the proceedings about the Baby in Mind First Touch Program, and how it is being adapted by workers supporting Aboriginal families in Australia. Read More

Code of Conduct for Delivery of Cue-Based Infant Massage Education

By | Blog, Manual - Licencing and Legal, Manual - Professional Issues, Member News, News, Student Handbook - Policies and Information | No Comments

Who We Are

As professional educators with current certification, we support the establishment of strong and secure early relationships between parents and babies.

We provide education, training research and support. Our work makes a unique and vital contribution to Australian society by supporting many of the essential foundations for lifelong mental and physical health.

Our Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct for the delivery of Cue-Based Infant Massage Education is a powerful, positive statement about the place of professional infant massage educators in Australian communities and organisations.

Our Code shows how our current professional members are committed to working with babies, parents, families, colleagues and other professionals, in accordance with our shared beliefs.

In order to maintain the level of trust placed in us by the Australian community, and to help enable the best possible outcomes for the families we work with, our Code of Conduct sets out the expectations of behaviour and practice for our Professional Members. The Code can be used by Professional Members to help guide their everyday decisions and actions. It also gives our organisation – Baby in Mind – a set of principles to use in regulating, maintaining and improving our collective standards of practice.

This Code was developed in consultation with our members, other people who have an interest in supporting healthy parent-baby relationships, and members of the community. As a result, this Code reflects the standards that we expect of ourselves, and the standards that the community expects of us.

Our Beliefs

We Believe In:

…openness

We believe parents and babies – of all lifestyles, parenting styles, or choices – deserve to be welcomed with respect, tenderness, warmth and, above all else, a listening heart.

… the dignity of parenthood

We believe all parents love their babies and want their babies to have the chance to grow up happy, healthy and in peace. We believe all babies deserve for their parents to be supported in this fundamental, human hope.

…honouring our first relationships

We believe all babies are born with an innate desire to feel close to, connected with, and a special part of their own families. We also understand the extent to which they experience this has a long-term impact on the social, emotional and physical development of each human being. We believe that by honouring these early experiences, one day, all children and parents might enjoy the life-long benefits that come from having early relationships that are loving, healthy and secure.

…making a difference when it matters most

For children to grow up healthy and happy, parents need good quality support – as early as possible – from people who they like and who respect them. Children also need to have healthy relationships with people of many ages and abilities. They also need to live in communities where people’s human rights are upheld. We believe in focussing our efforts, resources and will-power on getting these things happening today, rather than waiting until problems become overwhelming for families.

…the ability of all people

We believe building relationships and connections between human beings should not depend on knowledge owned by experts, professionals, governments or organisations. We believe the knowledge, skills and actions needed to support healthy human relationships should belong to each person, family, neighbourhood and community.

Principle of Conduct

PRINCIPLE 1: We put the well-being of babies and families first.

In our role delivering parent-infant relationship education, we:

1.1 ensure, as much as we reasonably can, that the comfort, security and safety needs – and the personal preferences – of each individual baby and their family are acknowledged and responded to in our work.

1.2 include, welcome and treat each baby, and their family, with respect, courtesy, dignity and sensitivity to their relationship, cultural, social, economic, geographic, health, lifestyle or other status; and their parenting preferences and styles.

1.3 do our best, when invited or requested, to assist families to find out about other health, education or social supports that may be available to them.

1.4 will try and help a family find a different educator  if we cannot meet their needs.

1.5 follow the most program guidelines in doing our work. We let families know if we are not working within the current guidelines, and we only ever make adaptations to our program guidelines if we are properly qualified and trained to do so and it does not compromise family well-being.

PRINCIPLE 2: We support parents and babies to build safe, secure and responsive relationships with each other.

In our role delivering parent-infant relationship education, we:

2.1 are at all times mindful of our position as a role-model to families and act accordingly when in our work role

2.2 only provide cue-based infant massage education and information to parents, and do not ever massage other people’s babies ourselves.

2.3 only deliver infant massage education in a face-to-face setting, and do not attempt to provide our program via telephone, video, internet or text.

2.4 only provide advice, information and education related to the delivery of cue-based infant massage and parent-infant interaction. We avoid providing other sorts of advice, counselling, treatment or other services within the education setting.

PRINCIPLE 3: We do everything we can to ensure the highest possible quality of service

In our role delivering parent-infant relationship education, we:

3.1 before providing a service to a family, collect all information that is necessary to provide a high quality and safe service, and as necessary to comply with all record-keeping laws and guidelines.

3.2 act responsibly in communicating information and knowledge to families.

3.3 comply with all relevant local, State, Territory and Federal laws that relate to our practice.

3.4 hold current and appropriate indemnity and liability insurance.

3.5 listen respectfully to complaints or concerns raised by families with us, and, where possible and appropriate, try to fix any problems.

3.6 give adequate information to families so they know how to make a complaint, if they are dissatisfied with our service.

PRINCIPLE 4: We provide a useful service for the benefit of the community

In our role delivering parent-infant relationship education, we may:

4.1 charge a reasonable fee or receive a wage for our services that:

  • is within the range of accepted industry standards;
  • does not lead to the exploitation of families;
  • ensures we can provide ourselves with safe and fair working conditions; and
  • provides us with fair remuneration taking into account our training, experience, and the quality of service we provide;

4.2 or willingly provide our service in a volunteer or social context.

PRINCIPLE 5: We provide our services with honesty, integrity and professionalism

In our role delivering parent-infant relationship education, we:

5.1 manage our relationships with families in ways that are professional and helpful for each family, and in ways that maintain and strengthen their sense of trust and dignity.

5.2 do not engage in activities that reflect improperly on the the work of other professional members, or of Baby in Mind.

5.3 only provide education that is within the scope of our training, qualifications and level of experience. We are honest and truthful about what we are qualified to do.

5.4 are honest about the claims we make in relation to the benefits of our work. We make sure any claims we make about the benefits of our program can be substantiated by evidence.

5.5 communicate professionally and respectfully with each other, and with other professionals.

5.6 acknowledge the source of our training and the program we teach.

PRINCIPLE 6: We uphold the privacy and confidentiality of the families we work with

In our role delivering parent-infant relationship education, we:

6.1 ensure we do not wrongfully disclose personal information about the families we work with.

6.2 take reasonable measures to securely store personal information about the babies and families we work with.

6.3 only disclose private information with the family’s written consent, or when required by law.

PRINCIPLE 7: We take responsibility for maintaining the quality of our own practice and the service we deliver

In our role delivering parent-infant relationship education, we:

7.1 only provide our service when we are physically and mentally fit to do so, and when we have the necessary abilities, judgement and capacity to do so.

7.2 maintain our current knowledge, and improve it, by undertaking continuing development and education.

7.3 maintain a regular practice of reflection in relation to our work supporting parents and babies.

7.4 actively seek out information to clarify or improve our knowledge and practices, when we have identified opportunities for learning.

7.5 take responsibility for a managing a healthy work-life balance.

7.6 strengthen our own capacity to support families by using strategies and personal practices that support our own mental health and physical well-being.

Could baby massage courses for staff improve morale, empathy and job satisfaction?

By | Blog, News, Parent Stories | One Comment
About three years ago, here are Baby in Mind, we were involved in a research project conducted by Angela Freeman, from University of Canberra. Working at the Canberra-based perinatal depression support service, PANDSI, Freeman’s research evaluated the effects of a short, low-cost, multi-disciplinary program for women and their babies facing severe and complex postnatal depression and anxiety. What we didn’t count on or plan for, were the effects of the baby massage component of the program on staff.

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National Health and Medical Research Council Includes Cue-Based Infant Massage as a Potentially Effective Intervention in Infant Mental Health

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A report released by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has recognised and included cue-based Infant Massage as an intervention that may potentially help promote some factors contributing to early social and emotional development in a baby’s first year of life.

The finding has been welcomed by Australian children’s charity Baby in Mind. Baby in Mind is the only organisation in Australia providing nationally-accredited training to health professionals in infant massage education.

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Baby in Mind Educator Wins Award

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Linda on her last visit to Uganda, sharing skills with local workers and mothers.

Linda is currently looking for sponsors to provide training to local staff in Uganda, to help support early mother-baby relationships in families traumatised by rape and abuse. If you are in a position to assist, please contact Baby in Mind.

Congratulations to Baby in Mind educator, Linda Davis, who this week received an award for the highest academic achievement for a NSW student graduating from a vocational education course in a health faculty. Linda’s journey has been an extraordinary one, marked by courage and resilience, over an almost 10-year period, after travelling to Uganda on a trip that would change her life.

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Five Year Accreditation Granted to Infant Massage Course

By | Blog, Member News, News | One Comment
Parents are often surprised to know that the majority of people who teach infant massage programs in Australia have only completed “hobby” or non-vocational courses in how to do infant massage or – in many cases – no training in infant massage whatsoever. However, in November, the Australian Government (via the Australian Skills Quality Authority)  re-accredited the National Competency Standards relating to the delivery of infant massage education.

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40% of new parents we work with are battling loneliness and isolation

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Each year, our educators work with an estimated 35,000 families in Australia to provide the First Touch Program and support parent-infant interactions. Since July 2016 we’ve started collecting data and feedback from some of those families about the impact the program has had on them. Over the past three months, this data has revealed a worrying trend, with 40% of parents completing the survey tool so far stating that they are battling feelings of significant isolation and loneliness.  Without support or opportunities to find and build connections, isolation can wreak havoc with a new parent’s mental health.

Perhaps also worrying is that 60% of parents completing the First Touch Program with our educators say that the program was “far more useful” than other supports that they have received as a new parent. While that is positive feedback for our educators and our program as a whole, it does continue to highlight the gaps in the government and social care systems that are available to all families.

The data collection is in early days yest, so these trends may yet change as more data is gathered.

Aussie massage therapists take on Duchess Kate’s challenge

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After learning that adult mental illness can often be prevented in early childhood, The Duchess of Cambridge, Katherine Middleton, is campaigning for communities to give more attention to mental health development in infancy and early childhood. Although an Australian celebrity is yet to take up the same cause here, a local business-charity partnership is stepping up to reduce early mental health risks faced by Australian children. Read More

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