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'Disproportionate rise' in number of newborns taken into care

Published 14/12/2015

More than 13,000 babies have been taken into care at birth or shortly afterwards since 2007, according to the BBC
More than 13,000 babies have been taken into care at birth or shortly afterwards since 2007, according to the BBC

The number of newborn babies taken into care in England has soared in recent years, according to a report.

A total of 13,248 babies were taken into care either at birth or not long afterwards over the seven years from 2007, the BBC reported.

Figures have been compiled for the first time using original family court records.

One of the experts who led the research at the University of Lancaster, said there has been a disproportionate rise over the years.

Dr Karen Broadhurst told the BBC: "We know generally there's an increase in children coming into care. But this group is disproportionately increasing.

"Some mothers are caught in a destructive cycle: their child's taken into care, because of neglect or abuse, they quickly become pregnant again without changing their outlook or circumstances.

"Social workers take their next baby away at birth - and the next."

The report said 2,018 newborns were made the subject of care proceedings in 2013, up from 802 in 2008.

The research showed that around half of the babies were taken from mothers who had other children in care, while a third were from women who had become teenage mothers.

Dr Broadhurst said a "general trend towards taking more timely action, getting in there quicker" went some way to explaining the bigger numbers, but questioned the lack of research around how to prevent it happening.

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