Parent and Infant Relationship Service (PAIRS)

In light of the current coronavirus /Covid-19 government recommendations, all group work and face-to-face appointments have been suspended until further notice.

The service can still offer one-to-one support via phone and video.

New referrals are still accepted from professionals and parents can self-refer: please call 020 3228 6771 or email: PAIRS_Lambeth@slam.nhs.uk.

The team will assess families’ current needs and discuss what support can be offered.

If you already use PAIRS and have questions, please contact your clinician or call 020 3228 6771.


If a child has an urgent mental health crisis, you can find details of local services at www.slam.nhs.uk/crisis

What is it?

PAIRS is a service that helps parents to spend quality time together with their baby/child and to further improve their relationship.

What is the purpose?

Being a parent will not always come naturally to everyone. It is common for parents to feel overwhelmed, feel a dip in confidence and struggle with new responsibilities. Parents may also have challenging feelings about themselves, their partner or even their baby or toddler at times.

How does it work?

PAIRS has three different services and is available to expectant parents and parents with babies or toddlers (up until their fourth birthday) who live in the LEAP wards of Tulse Hill, Stockwell, Coldharbour and Vassall.

You can contact the PAIRS team directly and speak to a member of the team. The PAIRS worker will talk through your concerns and discuss if PAIRS is the right service for you at this time and which version of PAIRS is best for you. Alternatively, you can ask your health visitor, midwife, GP or local children’s centre to make a referral.

If the service is appropriate for you, a member of the PAIRS team will arrange to meet you at your local GP practice, children’s centre or in your home. The number and spacing of sessions may vary. They are normally weekly but will depend on your needs as a family.

Appointments normally last up to one hour.

How does it work?

What happens in a session?

PAIRS (One-to-One)

The overall aim of PAIRS one-to-one is to support the parent to enjoy their relationship with their baby/child. This is done by understanding and strengthening the relationship between baby/child, supporting the baby/child’s development and wellbeing, and supporting parental confidence to manage the stress of being a parent.

You will be offered a session where we will get to know each other, spend some time talking with you and your baby or toddler. We will talk about your experience, your hopes and day to day life.

We also get to know you and your baby or child though watching you play, thinking about your baby or toddler’s cues and behaviours as well as ways of responding. You will also have a chance to discuss your problems and concerns, your needs of both yourself and your baby or toddler.

• Together Time (Group sessions)

Together Time takes place over six weekly sessions delivered by trained family professionals who use a technique called ‘Watch, Wait and Wonder’ to support parent/infant interaction, improve parental reflective functioning, and enjoy being with their baby/child.

Circle of Security (Group sessions)

Circle of Security is a relationship-based early intervention programme that takes place over eight weekly sessions and a creche is provided for children aged six months up to four years. 

Each session lasts for one hour and 30 minutes, using DVD footage, handouts and discussion, involving up to 12 parents.  

It is a service that helps parents/caregivers better understand their child’s emotional world by learning to read their emotional needs, as well as supporting their child’s ability

What are the outcomes?

Improve the emotional impact a baby has on a family, such as:

  • Worries about how a new baby or toddler will change my life.
  • Worries about how difficult memories of childhood will impact parenting.
  • Feeling overwhelmed with a baby or toddler. Surely this should be a time of happiness?
  • Worries that a difficult pregnancy or birth have affected feelings about my baby or toddler.
  • Worries about how a baby or toddler's health and development interfere with my parenting.
  • Feeling not connected to a baby or toddler.

Help with any practical worries such as:

  • Difficulty with my baby or toddler's feeding habits.
  • Struggling with my baby or toddler's toilet training, sleep, tantrums and/or difficult behaviour.
  • Not getting on with my partner at the moment and I worry it affects our family/all of us.
  • My baby or toddler is clingy and hard to comfort.

How to get involved

You can email or phone the PAIRs team, who will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Phone: 020 3228 6771

How to get involved

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