In a homely atmosphere, mother and child can work on bonding and work towards a stable living environment.
The baby house
The Baby house can be found in the Netherlands. It’s a place where mothers can come with their young ones when they can’t handle the care themselves anymore due to circumstances. Here they are taken in and guided in a five month program to work on bonding with their child and working towards a stable lifestyle for mother and child.
Five years ago, the baby house was founded by Barbara Muller. She worked in child protection services and often saw out-of-home placements. She felt the situation could be handled differently, if only the approach were changed. So she started a house to prevent these out of home placements and give mother and baby another chance to stay together.
It started out with just taking care of the baby to provide mothers with some often much needed rest. Soon it was asked if mothers could stay overnight as well. More and more room was created and it got more and more professional until it is the house it is today.
The baby house offers a place for mother and baby and gives them a chance to work on their bond over the course of about five months. Not only is the focus on bonding, the baby house helps mothers find a fitting education or job and even housing. They work on a steady rythm and pay attention to what a mother needs in order to provide her the best chance of a happy healthy future with her child.
The house offers space to eleven mothers at a time. As it’s almost never full, the house always has room on short notice.
There’s three phases to the house. In the first phase, a pregnant woman or new mother can work on bonding with her child. They employ different forms of therapy and group talks. When the bonding is coming along and feels more confident in their bond with their child, mothers can go to phase two, where they face more independence but can still call on the staff and volunteers 24 hours a day. The third phase leaves even more room for indepence, getting the moms ready to face the world together with their child.
The mothers coming into the baby house have often dealt with different forms of social care and have often had bad experiences with them. The focus in the baby house is on the talent and strenghts of a mother and working on a basis of trust. What does she excell at, what makes her happy. Because a happy, fulfilled woman, will often be a pleasant mother.
This approach causes the mothers to look back fondly on their time in the baby house and often they’ll come back, just to say hello or to even celebrate their birthday.
Run baby, run!
Support the baby house by donating to marathon runners; on Sunday, May 27th, the runners will run for the baby house.