A recent project carried out by the Nuffield Foundation examined care proceedings cases in the family courts where mothers have had successive children removed from their care.
A preliminary analysis of data held by the Children and Family Court Advisory Service (CAFCASS) identified a large proportion of mothers subject to repeat proceedings who are highly vulnerable and whose situations make exceptional demands.
This innovative study has revealed the extent of recurrent care proceedings and highlighted the experience of women who had successive children removed from their care. The research found that over 11,000 mothers had more than one child removed between 2007 and 2014. Many of these women had been in care themselves.
The study also identified that for repeat mothers there is often a relatively short gap between removal and birth of another child, leaving little time for the mother to demonstrate change. Many repeat removals were of babies soon after birth. The study stated more needs to be done to address the negative cycle uncovered and further that the experiences and behaviours of these women needs to be understood in the contents of the trauma they themselves experienced in childhood and the trauma of having their own children removed, often with limited help and support available to them to turn their lives around once a child is removed.