Born into Care: Towards inclusive guidelines when the State intervenes at birth

A baby hand gripping the finger of a parent

The first set of national guidelines to help professionals dealing with rising numbers of babies removed from their parents at birth for safety reasons is to be developed.

The project will be led by Professor Karen Broadhurst and Claire Mason from the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University in partnership with the Rees Centre at Oxford University

The study, funded by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (FJO) will work in partnership with birth parents and health and social work professionals across six sites in England and two in Wales to develop the new FJO guidelines.

A birth parent advisory group will work in tandem with a professionals’ advisory board to help steer the project.

Parallel work will also take place in Australia led by the Universities of Melbourne and Western Australia.

“The development of these new guidelines is urgently needed in light of findings from earlier research undertaken by the Lancaster team,” said Professor Broadhurst.

“The research evidenced an upward trend in the volume of cases of care proceedings which concern new-born babies in England and Wales.”

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