Tomorrow, the Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Anna Freud Centre’s Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU). Her Royal Highness became the patron of the Anna Freud Centre in May 2016. This is her second visit to the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families.
She is visiting the EYPU to see and learn more about their work with families with children under the age of five. The Anna Freud Centre and Kensington Palace both said that this visit is a continuation of Her Royal Highness’s desire to continue drawing attention to child mental health issues and how important it is for early intervention.
Catherine will meet parents who have completed the treatment programme at the Centre to hear of their experiences about what brought them to the Centre. Her Royal Highness will also meet those families who have benefited from the Parent Infant Psychotherapy (PIP) services of the Centre. The PIP supports both expecting and new parents. They recognise the importance of the relationship between the parent and child being at the centre to help understand the impact of the child on the parent and parent on the child.
An inside source told Royal Central that the Duchess was particularly interested in meeting with parents who face considerable challenges.
The Anna Freud Centre’s Chief Executive said about the visit: “We are very proud of our history of developing and evaluating ways of helping families with infants and small children and are delighted that Her Royal Highness shares our passion for offering support to parents, as early as possible in the child’s life. We are very happy that Her Royal Highness is meeting parents from two of our flagship early intervention services. Her visit is an inspiration to the staff and reinforces the commitment of the families to work to increase their babies’ chances of a resilient future. But more important, by bringing attention to the real difference that early years programmes can make, The Duchess is stimulating interest in similar services throughout the country and right across the world.”
The EYPU opened in 2011 and “offers assessment and treatment programme for groups of parents with personality disorders, and their children under five years, who are at risk of being taken into care.”
The Anna Freud Centre said in a press release that the EYPU’s treatment works to address the personality disorders of the parents, the child-parent relationship, and children’s developmental needs. They aim to keep the families together and assist the parents in becoming “more aware of, and responsive to, their children’s needs, leading to more emotionally attuned parenting.”
The Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families is one of the partner charities of Heads Together, a mental health initiative by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and their namesake foundation.