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Woman and infants in care proceedings in England: new insights from research on recurrent care proceedings

Date:23 FEB 2016
Professor Karen Broadhurst Dr Bachar Alrouh Claire Mason and Emily Yeend Department of Sociology University of Lancaster
Sophie Kershaw Service Manager Family Drug and Alcohol Court Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Mike Shaw Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Child and Family Department at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Professor Judith Harwin Brunel University London


Background  and Study Objectives: There is increasing concern in England about the high volume of care proceedings. Care proceedings are issued by local authorities when it is deemed that children are suffering significant harm. Typically the making of a care order will result in placement of a child in out of home care. Given both the human and economic costs of this form of compulsory state intervention one issue that has caught national attention is repeat clienthood – why do some parents appear and re-appear before the family court losing successive children to state care and adoption. The study aimed to quantify the scale and pattern of recurrent care proceedings in England based on birth mother as the primary unit of analysis. The overarching aim...

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