Report from Nuffield FJO on newborn babies in urgent care proceedings
New statistics published on infants in care proceedings today reveal that the number of cases has continued to grow in England and Wales in recent years. Statistics also show that in the majority of cases involving newborn babies parents are given very little formal notice that care proceedings have been issued and the case is to be heard in court, which may result in the baby being removed from their care.
The research found that in England the number of newborn babies in care proceedings increased by 20 per cent between 2012/13 and 2019/20, rising from 2,425 to 2,914 per year. And in Wales by 40 per cent (rising from 145 to 203 babies per year).
When a local authority issues care proceedings under s.31 of the Children Act 1989, a request can also be made for an urgent hearing. In the last year, more than four out of every five cases in England, and three quarters of cases in Wales, were heard with less than seven days’ formal notice. One in every six mothers faced care proceedings issued and heard on the same day.
To read the report from the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory please click here: