Evaluation of New Beginnings: An attachment-based intervention for parents and infants

  • Summary

    New Beginnings is an attachment-based group intervention for parents and infants. The manualised programme (Baradon, 2014) aims to strengthen the relationship between parents and their babies through improved sensitivity, mentalizing, and knowledge of infant development. The programme was originally developed for mothers and babies in prison, but has subsequently been rolled out with different groups, such as with homeless families in South Africa and families in child protection services in the UK. The evaluations of the programmes have shown promising outcomes of the intervention in strengthening various aspects of the parent-infant relationship. The evaluations are ongoing as the programme is developed and delivered in different settings. 

  • Project team

    Principal Investigator:

    Michelle Sleed (research lead)

    Clinical Lead:

    Tessa Baradon (clinical lead)


    Katherine Bain, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

  • Publications

    Sleed, M., Baradon, T. & Fonagy, P. (2013). New Beginnings for mothers and babies in prison: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Attachment and Human Development, 15(4), 349-367.

    Baradon, T., Fonagy, P., Bland, K., Lenard, K. & Sleed, M. (2008). New Beginnings – an experience-based program addressing the attachment relationship between mothers and their babies in prisons. Journal of Child Psychotherapy. 34(2), 240 — 258.

    Bain, K. (2014). “New Beginnings” in South African shelters for the homeless: Piloting of a group psychotherapy intervention for high-risk mother-infant dyads. Infant Mental Health Journal, 35(6), 591-603.

    Baradon, T., Sleed, M., Atkins, R., Campbell, C., Fagin, A., Van Schaick, R. & Fonagy, P. (2016). New Beginnings: A time-limited, group intervention for high-risk infants and mothers. In H. Steele & M. Steele (Eds.), Handbook of attachment-based interventions. New York: Guilford.