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Reducing recurrent care proceedings: initial evidence from new interventions

Cox, P and Barratt, C and Blumenfeld, F and Rahemtulla, Z and Taggart, D and Turton, J (2017) 'Reducing recurrent care proceedings: initial evidence from new interventions.' Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law. ISSN 0141-8033

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Abstract

The English family justice system faces a crisis of recurrence. As many as one in four birth mothers involved in public law care proceedings in English family courts are likely to reappear in a subsequent set of proceedings within seven years. These mothers are involved in up to one-third of total care applications, as they are – by definition – linked to more than one child . Few birth mothers experiencing the removal of a child to care are offered any follow-up support, despite often facing multiple challenges including poverty, addiction, domestic violence and mental health problems. Since 2011, however, a number of new services have been established to begin to address their unmet needs. This article summarises the findings of the first academic-led evaluation of two of these initiatives. Presenting evidence from a mixed-methods evaluative study, it concludes that the new services were able to foster relationships that ‘worked’ in reducing recurrent proceedings. None of the women engaging with the services went on to experience what could be described as a ‘rapid repeat pregnancy’ within the evaluation window. Just as significantly, a number of clients reported some improvement in their psychological functioning, and the practitioners involved reported positively on their experience of delivering and managing innovative services. The article closes with a discussion of the challenges of evaluating personalised, strengths-based interventions and the possibilities of evidencing empowerment in these cases.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Recurrent care proceedings, child protection, birth mothers, evaluation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 13:20
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2019 21:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20305

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