Research carried out by the Universities of Brunel and Manchester which confirms what judges have witnessed over the past seven years.
Thousands of mothers during the period have had successive children removed by family courts in England. Court records for that period show 7,143 mothers were involved in repeat care cases – affecting 22,790 children. That’s an average of just over 3 children per mum are removed.
Local Authorities have removed children from mothers, due to abuse or neglect only to have to repeat the process with the same mother with her new born baby. Some mothers have had up to 15 babies removed.
Over 50% of the mothers have been under the age of 24 when their first child was removed. Mothers are restricted by the time given to made sufficient life changes as many infants were subject to care proceedings within a month of birth. It was identified that the time between care proceedings were too short for many of these mothers.
The average time from the first child being removed from a mother to the second child being removed is 17 months. Concerns have been identified that this time scale gives mothers very little time to implement their own rehabilitation.
Strengthening Families Project is a very direct approach to try to hit home the messages of the damage indulging in a drink and drug lifestyle during pregnancy can have. The side effects are delivered without any punches being pulled such as:-
- They’re born early, there’s
- increased risk of stillbirth
- abnormal brain development
- Risk of loss of limbs, fingers, toes.
The project has been running for two-and-a-half years and early results are promising. More mothers are succeeding in keeping their babies at home.
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