Born into Care. Newborns in care proceedings in England. New report.

Born into care Newborns in care proceedings in EnglandDownload here for the full report which has been published on 10 October 2018 by Professor Karen Broadhurst, Dr Bachar Alrouh & Claire Mason, Centre for Child and Family Justice Research, Lancaster University , Professor Harriet Ward & Dr Lisa Holmes, The Rees Centre, Oxford University, Mary Ryan & Dr Susannah Bowyer, Research in Practice, Dartington Hall.  Click here for the Executive summary.
 
The report highlights the considerable concern about the volume of care proceedings cases coming before the family courts in England and Wales, captured in a recent sector-led national analysis (Care Crisis Review, 2018). 
 
When a decision is taken to remove an infant from his or her mother within hours or days of the infant’s birth, this presents particular challenges for professionals and is highly distressing for birth mothers, birth fathers and wider family networks. It is therefore important to establish the proportion of cases that are issued at birth and begin to build an empirical evidence base about this particular population of infants in the family justice system.
 
The objectives of the report are to
 
(a) provide the first estimate and profile of newborns in care proceedings in England using national population-level data
 
(b) provide a critical discussion of the findings for further consideration and development by family justice stakeholders.
 
The report finds that  16 local authorities (6 in the North West; 3 in Yorkshire and Humber; 3 in the North East, 3 in East Midlands and 1 in West Midlands) diverged significantly from the national average based on 2016 data. Compared to the average rate for England, which is 35 newborns per 10,000 live births, the rates for these 16 local authorities was significantly higher (the rate range for the outliers is 55 newborns per 10,000 live births to 159 per 10,000).

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