Lullaby House will be a home-like nursery environment designed for safe and private contact visits between biological parents and their respective infants in care. It will also provide a space for carers to receive training and attend workshops on the best methods to support the crucial development and well-being of children in alternative care.
Put Them First (PTF) is currently in the process of establishing ‘pop-up’ Lullaby Houses thanks to the kindness and generosity of various community organisations and medical centres. Giving children the chance at another life, and bringing them up in a safe and happy environment is our utmost priority. Depending on the features and setting of the locations, these Lullaby Houses may provide a nursery environment for contact visits, a space to accommodate foster carers during contact visits, a location for our training, or all of these.
If the initial rollout of these spaces is proven to be a success based on testimonials from carers, biological families as well as involved volunteers, PTF will then look at the planning and construction of a permanent, purpose-built facility.
Some contact visits are currently conducted at Child Safety Service Centres (CSSC), which is only necessary in circumstances of violence or abduction risk.
Our nurseries at Lullaby House will be spacious, welcoming and well-suited for contact visits. Whilst some family visits would be supervised, it is envisaged that this would not always be necessary.
Contact visits between biological families and their infants in care are currently not facilitated unless required. Often, these visits take place at informal locations such as fast food restaurants. In special circumstances when there is high risk however, contact visits are conducted at Child Safety Service Centres (CSSC). These locations are not specifically designated and do not evoke a sense of warmth and security for either the families or infants.
PTF’s Lullaby Houses will be specifically laid out as spacious and welcoming environments that are tailored for contact visits. More importantly, they are designated spaces that can offer a sense of a stable ‘home’ away from home. While some family visits may be supervised to ensure optimum security and care is provided, we envisage that this would not always be necessary and families will be able to have private, quality time.
Not only are the children and their biological families important, but so are the carers. The very people who possess the jewels of compassion and kindness to give everyone a second chance. We want to support them also by providing a quiet space for relaxation during contact visits. With a space of their own, carers do not have to make the long drive back home or feel forced to wait alone in their car until contact hours are over. Instead, they now have the options to relax with a book and enjoy some provided tea or coffee.
Not only a comfortable environment for contact visits, the Lullaby House will also act as a regular location for the Foster Carer Training that PTF deliver.