Early Action on Relationship Support (EARS) Alliance

OnePlusOne Deputy Director of Innovation at iHV launch in London

In 2012 OnePlusOne established the EARS Alliance as a mechanism for relevant bodies and organisations to work together to raise awareness of the importance of early support for families experiencing relationship difficulties and to develop appropriate resources to help healthcare professionals respond with confidence.

Since being launched in March 2012, both The Royal College of Nursing and The Royal College of Midwives have joined the EARS Alliance.

The newly established Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) have now also joined this exciting venture. The iHV was launched in November 2012 to promote excellence in health visiting practice to benefit all children, families and communities. Every year around 700,000 babies are born in the UK and it is essential that each and every one have the best chance of a healthy and productive life.

The Institute has been set up to improve the quality and consistency of health visiting support to children, families and communities. Of course, the parents’ relationship plays a key part in ensuring a child has the best start in life. The unique way in which Health Visitors work is very important to OnePlusOne, both in terms of our core aim of strengthening relationships but also in recognition of the fact that relationships need support through the perinatal period when they come under particular stresses and strains as couples adapt to being parents.

The direct one-to-one contact Health Visitors have with children, families and communities in the home or community venues is built on both trust and an early intervention approach and as such they are in a unique position to pick up on and signpost to support for relationship difficulties.

By having close links with a number of third sector bodies representing parents, the new iHV activities will be focused on the areas of greatest need, whether a public health priority such as reducing the incidence and effects of postnatal depression, or more effectively meeting the needs of a vulnerable group in society as such we are delighted to be working with them through the EARS Alliance.