Baby FAST Groups for Young Mothers

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Babies (Birth to 2 years old) who are at high risk for child neglect and abuse, their young mothers (14 to 21 years old), and the babies’ extended family which include biological fathers and grandparents

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 2, 14 – 21

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 2, 14 – 21

Brief Description

Baby FAST Groups for Young Mothers are structured multifamily, multigenerational groups for young mothers, their babies, and their babies’ extended families which include the biological fathers and grandparents who may be in heavy conflict with the teenage mother. These groups are led by trained teams consisting of a health visitor, an infant massage expert, a social worker for child protection, an advocate for young men, a grandmother of a teenage mother, and a teenage mother. In these 8 structured sessions, all conflict is blocked and positive emotion is supported in experiential learning activities, for the sake of the baby. This is an application of structural family therapy (Kids FAST® - Families and Schools Together) with families of teenage mothers with no diagnosed mental disorders and the new baby. The sessions aim to build positive relationships across the informal social support networks, defuse the hostility, and protect the new baby from neglect and abuse.

Program Goals:

The goals of Baby FAST Groups for Young Mothers are:

  • Reduce child neglect and abuse of the new baby
  • Build respectful and non-conflicted relationships between the teenage mother and her extended family, including the father of the baby
  • Build friendships to reduce social isolation with other extended families of other teenage mothers in the local community
  • Connect mothers with expert professionals for appropriate referrals for additional more intensive services over time and for referrals to further education

Contact Information

Lynn McDonald, MSW, PhD
Title: Professor of Social Work
Agency/Affiliation: Middlesex University, London England

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2014

Last CEBC Contact Date: October 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2013

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2013