Sharp rise in care applications for newborn babies

The number of applications for newborn babies to be taken into care has more than doubled in the past nine years, research has found. A study by the Nuffield Foundation, Born into Care, found that in 2007/08, 1,039 babies were subject to care proceedings within one week of birth. By 2016/17, this number had more than doubled at 2,447, an increase of 136 per cent. Between 2007/08 and 2016/17, a total of 16,849 newborns were subject to care proceedings. Researchers said there was an upward trend in newborn care applications across all measures – volumes, proportions and incidence. In 2007/08, 32 per cent of all infant cases (for children up to the age of one) were issued for newborns. By 2016/17, this percentage had risen to 42 per cent. Researchers said the rise is difficult to explain, but suggested that increasing financial hardship for families, the impact of the reduction in preventative services and a defensive, risk-averse culture could be possible factors. Read more.

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