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STARS — Strengthening Tameside’s Approach to Repeat Separations, logo                    2 hands holding a jigsaw piece each

STARS - Strengthening Tameside's Approach to Repeat Separations

The Strengthening Families model in Tameside is an intensive early help offer for parents — mothers and/or fathers who are pregnant, and have had children removed previously. Our aim is to provide a holistic package of support to help break and repair this cycle to promote positive outcomes.

Our Criteria

Tameside STARS team support women early in pregnancy (12 weeks or less) who have had one or more children removed previously and there is risk of further removals. Where possible the STARS team will work with both parents.

Our Referrals

Our referrals can come from any agency, or a parent can refer themselves by contacting the Early Help Access Point, as long as the criteria are met.

Professional referrals will need to be sent by completing a MARS referral to the Early Help Access Point/ MASH team. Once a referral and MARS has been triaged and accepted, the parent and family will be supported through an embedded pathway.

Our Key Principles/Values

Future Focus - We believe every parent is capable of positive and lasting change
Strengths based - We believe every family has strengths and assets they can build on
Relational - Honesty is at the heart of relationships, which are based on mutual respect and trust
Holistic - Although our focus is the child/children we work with the whole family to promote good quality family relationships
Evidence Informed - We use proven approaches to support positive and lasting change, manage risk and build capacity
Personalised - We draw on a wide range of skills and services to offer families an individual package of support.

Within our STARS Approach early intervention is key. Families’ strengths and worries will be captured within an Early Help Assessment.

Together we will decide the support needed and an action plan will be created, which includes next steps and referrals to other agencies to provide additional targeted support.

Pre-Birth Assessment

Following the outcome of the pre- birth assessment, where the child remains with the family, the STARS team will provide intensive early help support up to a period of 2 years, with a primary focus on attachment, parenting, and child development; as well as addressing adversity and supporting through a strengths based approach.

If following the pre-birth assessment the child is removed, the STARS team will support the parents with their emotional health and wellbeing, promote the parent-infant relationship using trauma informed approaches, and addressing underlying adverse needs, such as alcohol abuse, for up to 2 years.


The Support Package—individual to each family will include:

  • 1:1/Group Parenting Support
  • Parent and Child Relationships/Attachment Support
  • Child Developmental Stages
  • Encouraging Play
  • Routines
  • Parent Support
  • Benefits/Debt Support

Building Relationships

We recognise that the parents we are working with often have had life experiences that make it harder for them to trust others and to make positive change.

Our work focuses on:

  • Helping parents explore how previous experiences may affect their parenting in the future.
  • Supporting parents to make changes for their own health and wellbeing.
  • Supporting parents to feel confident in their ability to care for their new born.
  • Helping parents to identify a support network who they can ask for help and guidance.

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