To learn more about the work of ARC over the past year, you can now download our latest Annual Review.
ARC was started in 1988, and is still the only national charity which provides non-directive support and information to parents throughout the antenatal testing process. Our role is to help parents arrive at the most appropriate decision for them in the context of their family life. ARC is governed by a board of trustees made up of parent members and professionals, and is supported by a medical advisory body and a team of patrons.
ARC offers information and support to parents who are:
- Making decisions before, during and after antenatal tests
- Given a worrying result from a test
- Told their unborn baby has an anomaly
- Having to make painful decisions about the future of the pregnancy
- Dealing with the aftermath of a loss after a diagnosis of fetal anomaly
ARC provides help for parents via:
- a national helpline: Calls and emails answered by trained staff from Monday to Friday 10.00am – 5.30pm
- a national support network: 50 trained volunteers offering telephone support across the UK
- a website
- online forum: password-protected and moderated groups for members who lost a baby after a prenatal diagnosis
- a range of literature for parents, families and health professionals: we produce handbooks for parents facing a termination and for those continuing after a diagnosis in pregnancy; booklets for bereaved fathers, grandparents and siblings; a booklet on another pregnancy; a handbook for health professionals on supporting parent decision-making and a regular membership newsletter
- professional training: ARC delivers regular interactive study days and workshops to all health professionals working with parents going through screening and testing and its aftermath. These include obstetric clinicians, genetic specialists, sonographers, midwives,specialist nurses, and administrative and support staff. Particularly popular are our days on communication skills and delivering difficult news and our training day on supporting parents in their decision making.
- informing policy: To ensure that our members concerns influence policy the Director of ARC sits on the Fetal Maternal and Child Health Co-ordinating Group (and a number of its sub-groups) of the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) providing guidance to the NHS on antenatal screening.