12 APR 2017
Women in recurrent care proceedings in England (2007-2016): Continuity and change in care demand over time
Professor Karen Broadhurst and Dr Stuart Bedston, Centre for Child and Family justice research, Lancaster UniversityIn this second article from the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University, we also speak to current concerns about the continued high volume of care proceedings cases. Prompted by questions raised recently by the President of the Family Division we consider whether an increase in the number of ‘repeat mothers’ lies behind increased care demand. As stated by our colleagues Professor Judith Harwin and Dr Bachar Alrouh at p 407 above, the relentless rise in care proceedings is very concerning and requires concerted effort to uncover the factors that lie behind this increase.
This short article is divided into four sections. First we provide a new estimate of women’s cumulative risk of recurrence, updating the picture we published in 2015. Second we consider our estimate in relation to general population trends for childbearing women and the changing landscape of preventative services for this particular population. Third we present a forecast of likely care demand and consider how increased demand will bear on ‘repeat mothers’. Finally, we conclude that although women’s cumulative risk of return to court appears relatively stable over time, the continued scale of the problem is very concerning. Further, concerted effort to help women avoid return to court will reduce overall demand on the family justice system.
Article continues below...