There is flexibility to implement INFANT in a way that is best suited to your community context, partnerships and the resources available. To date, INFANT training has been offered across Victoria through support of the Victorian Department of Health, and at least 30 local governments are currently implementing INFANT 

Practitioner’s thoughts in implementation

We have provided some feedback from INFANT training participants about how they plan on implementing INFANT below: 

Recruitment: 

“Initially we will be aiming to enrol all new parents that attend First Time Parent Groups and for those who decline the FTPG sessions they can be offered (INFANT) during the normal MCH appointment.”  – INFANT training participant.   

Aligning with existing groups: 

Our plan is to run (INFANT) either in or before/after the supported playgroup… to engage this already vulnerable population, it also assists with problems around location and timing…”  – INFANT training participant. 

“…tuning into a group already established, like a playgroup, or community group. Finding the time and place can also be a challenge in our rural area to incorporate traveling and getting enough people to attend.” – INFANT training participant. 

  • Option: Review the case studies from several Victorian LGA’s that are implementing INFANT here 

Adapting implementation strategies:  

It is vital to consider how the program can be implemented in its entirety or if some parts may need to be adapted. Your thinking has probably evolved since you first started INFANT, and it’s important to continue a flexible and opportunistic approach, so you can adapt the program to your specific circumstances. This should be reflected in your implementation plan, which is required by each LGA running INFANT (one plan per LGA).   

“I think that if we can take time to embed INFANT within existing programs and group deliveries, we will be able to achieve program longevity. It will be a matter of discussions with our organisation and linking it to our larger strategic plan.” – INFANT training participant.

Quick tip: The INFANT team provides implementation support for LGAs who are delivering INFANT, so please contact the team for any queries about your local implementation plan E: infant-study@deakin.edu.au

INFANT groups vs 1:1 with new parents
Feedback from areas currently running INFANT groups suggest that there may be cost savings long-term. These benefits can result from less additional MCH 1:1 appointments to address issues relating to infant feeding and peer-to-peer learning between parents.

  • Option: Review the INFANT cost estimates summary here

There can also be immediate time-efficiency results for MCHN. The figure below shows INFANT group sessions can accommodate twice as many new families in 2.5 hours.

  • An MCHN can offer 30-minute individual (1:1) appointments for new parents, seeing up to five families in 2.5 hours.
  • This compares with an MCHN offering INFANT group, that can accommodate up to ten families in 2.5 hours (with 1.5 hour INFANT group session and allowing 30 min travel each way).
  • Importantly, families attending the INFANT group session also have the additional benefits of interacting with other parents, including hearing questions and advice from other parents and making social connections.  

Figure 1: Comparison of 1:1 appointments vs INFANT group program 

Families seen by MCHN

Your task 

Consider the current implementation of INFANT in your area and how INFANT can be sustained in your area. Have there been changes to implementation since it first started? e.g. different recruitment strategies, integration with other parenting groups etc.

Submit a comment below and read the feedback from others on this critical issue, even if you are still in the planning stages of local implementation. Click the ‘mark complete’ button once you’re ready, then select ‘next lesson’ for the next step.