Hackney Phase One
As long ago as 2005 the London Borough of Hackney (LBH) identified a group of women who fitted a profile of recurrent short interval pregnancies that resulted in removal. A feasibility study was commissioned in 2011 to identify and research a clear group and examine the prevalence of issues arising for them, as well as testing local interest for developing an initiative to address the concern.
The feasibility study (examining a five year period) showed that 49 individual women in LBH had experienced the removal of 205 children over their reproductive lifetime. The study also identified the prevalence of complex problems and circumstances with which they live for example, domestic violence (71%), drug and alcohol addiction (98%), homelessness (51%), growing up in care (49%) and criminal justice involvement (35%).
Although the group was well known to support services in the borough, very little work had been done to specifically address either the trauma and challenges brought about by the repeat removal of their children or the underpinning circumstances causing removal to occur.
In 2013, Pause began in Hackney as a pilot to test a model of interventions aimed at preventing the continued birth of children in circumstances that (unless addressed) would be likely to lead to the same outcome.
The Financial Benefits
If we estimate that 100 women, with a similar profile to those currently on Pause, were spread over 5 sites over a 5 year period with no intervention, they could potentially have 264* children removed into care at a cost of almost £20million. These are primarily the costs of taking those 264* children into care and do not account for other associated costs.
The cost to run Pause for these 100 women, over the 5 sites for the 5 year period, would be approximately £9million. Therefore the potential cost avoidance/savings is in the region of £10million if no children were removed from this group.
*Data from Hackney Pause Financial Evaluation