We are delighted to announce that Birth Companions will be launching a new support service in Hackney on 1st May 2024.

The Izzy Project will offer specialist, relationship-led support to pregnant women and new mothers who have involvement from children’s social care services. It is named in loving memory of a child whose mum has been a huge part of Birth Companions for many years.  

This new service has been in development for some time now. All the way back in 2022, we began a co-production process involving members of our Lived Experience Team who have lived experience of involvement from children’s social care, and over 40 professionals working across Hackney’s maternity, perinatal mental health, children’s social care and voluntary services. 

Through many meetings, focus groups, and one-to-one conversations, we co-designed a new service that could support the needs, and improve the experiences of women in Hackney at risk of separation from their babies shortly after birth. We are delighted that we have received funding from the North East London Integrated Care Board (City & Hackney) and The National Lottery Community Fund to pilot this exciting, co-designed service in Hackney over the next four years. 

Our Izzy Project coordinators will work one-to-one with women throughout their pregnancy, birth, and the first year of their baby’s life. They will offer practical and emotional support to help mothers navigate the children’s social care, family justice, and maternity care systems, as well as wider services such as housing and public health.

Our coordinators will work alongside, but independently of midwives, social workers and other relevant health and social care services. They will help women access the full range of support services available in Hackney, and ensure that women’s voices are heard and their needs understood by those services and the professionals working within them.

The launch of The Izzy Project is a very exciting moment for Birth Companions. Since 1996, we have supported hundreds of women who have involvement from children’s social care during pregnancy and early motherhood. In recent years, we have worked to drive change in policy and practice in this area, through publications such as our Birth Charter for women with involvement from children’s social care and our Dual Contact Spotlight paper looking at the needs and experiences of women who have dual contact with children’s social care and the criminal justice system. 

The Izzy Project is built on the principles of the Birth Charter and represents an exciting next step on this journey. Through it, we will offer exceptional care to mothers in Hackney at risk of or experiencing separation from their babies, while also identifying insights, in real-time, into existing gaps and opportunities to improve local systems.

Birth Companions is committed to driving improvements in the care and support offered to women who may be at risk of having a baby removed, or are dealing with the trauma of separation from their baby, not just through direct service provision but also through informing and shaping changes to policy and practice at a local, regional and national level. The Izzy Project, along with our other services in prisons and in the community, plays a crucial role in this learning and development approach.

The Izzy Project will launch on 1st May 2024. It will run as a pilot programme over four years, and will be evaluated by an external academic partner. 

For more information about The Izzy Project, email: [email protected].

For more information about the development of this service, and our wider work around children’s social care, please contact Katherine Miller Brunton:
[email protected]

Birth Companions is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1120934 at Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
Log in | Powered by White Fuse