Special Needs in Pregnancy Project
The SNIPs Maternity Matters project supports vulnerable women identified as part of the maternity assessment and then assigned to SNIPS (Special Needs in Pregnancy) service. The support provided is different to a typical welfare rights service. Although the content of advice and holistic support is the same as that given to other clients, the delivery of the advice is shaped by the additional needs of the client group.
SNIPS is a Maternity led service targeting pregnant women who may be: dependent on drugs/alcohol or are on methadone; are complex asylum seekers or refugees; have a history of psychiatric disorder; are experiencing emotional difficulties; have a learning or physical disability; have a history of abuse of self or other children, or where there are children who are looked after and accommodated; the very young including teenagers, vulnerable or socially isolated or are experiencing domestic violence.
Women who attend the SNIPS clinics often have a number of vulnerabilities. These are exacerbated by poor social conditions such as poverty/deprivation, poor or unstable housing, unstable or abusive relationships, material deprivation, financial instability and exclusion.
All SNIPS clients are referred to Maternity Matters, and their staff are present at the clinics to meet women, form relationships and then arrange to meet to offer the full financial inclusion service at a suitable location. The project uses a person-centered approach to provide an enhanced model of care with extra support from an advocate who works with women to ensure that their plan, initially developed by a Money Advisor, is followed through with longer term support as and when required. This support can last from 3 months post birth, but there have been cases where support has lasted up to 10 months postnatally. The service also provides close links and referrals to other partners such as: employability services, social work, housing and a range of third sector services.
The service aims to: Help address existing financial or welfare issues and build resilience for the future, Increase financial knowledge and understanding, Increase exposure to financial products, guidance and tools, Support to manage income via money diaries and support for the most vulnerable clients before their baby is born and for up to 3 months postnatally, Support women to maintain their benefit commitment for their claims, Refer directly to multiple partners due to the complexities of the women’s needs and requirements e.g. Social Work and attend case conferences as required, Carry out a holistic assessment of needs and ensure that anything that can be accessed is for each woman and their family.
During the period from 1st April 2022 to the 31st of March 2023 a total of 190 referrals were made to Maternity Matters from Midwives. In addition, a total of 292 repeat clients were seen during this reporting period. For the new clients seen by the service in 2022-23, 45% were BAME and 22% required a translator. A total of 90% had an annual income of £15,000.00 or less, there was a total of 1216 different cases dealt with and a significant proportion of the clients seen had a disability (50%). Financial gains were a total of £552,896.02 and a total of £89,626.05 in both housing and non-housing debt was managed for clients. 50% of those who used the service were <25 years old, 35% were lone parents with dependents and a further 45% were single parents who were expecting their first child.
This service goes beyond a traditional money and debt advice service in that an advocacy worker will support women with a range of issues including financial literacy/capability and budgeting, support with using IT including tips for searching for items for their baby to develop their IT skills and help with access to a range of charitable organisations who provide baby equipment and clothes. Service is a vital, valuable and integral part of women’s maternity care.
Linked to this project is our Travel Pilot where we have been awarding Glasgow Tripper travel cards in anticipation that these women will then have the funds to attend their appointments resulting in fewer missed appointments, scans etc.
If you are under the Special Needs in Pregnancy Antenatal and wish a referral to one of our advisers and/or heed help with travel costs, please speak to your SNIPS midwife who will make a referral to us. We will have one of our Support Officers at the Princess Royual on a Thursday morning should you wish to discuss a referral or get information on the services that we can offer.