The Care Review was set up by the Government to look at how the children’s social care system can improve to provide all children with loving, safe and stable families.
We welcome the Care Review and the opportunity to engage with it to amplify the voices and experiences of the thousands of women Pause has reached and influence the development of a system for children and women, including those with care experience, to get the support they need so the removal of a child should never have to happen more than once. To help engage with the Care Review we held online focus groups with five women and online focus groups for Pause Practices and the Pause national team with fifteen attendees.
We want to thank the women who attended the focus groups and gave us their insight and experience to help shape our input into the Care Review.
Key messages for the Care Review
- Consistency, stability and communication -The foundation of care should be stable, trusting relationships which support learning about love, parenting and positive relationships. In the focus groups women told us that this stability and foundation-building felt particularly lacking or non-existent in the care system.
- Institutional learning – With 40% women who experience recurrent removals of children from their care having experience of care themselves, the system clearly isn’t working in preventing intergenerational repeat removals of children into care and the multiple and complex trauma that women and children experience because of those removals and whatever was happening to need to remove children to keep them safe.
- Trauma-informed support -One of the most common themes in conversations with women and professionals we had was the need for trauma informed support and help for everyone involved in the care system – birth parents, children and caring families.
- Data and regulation – Data, regulation and accountability often drives changes in systems. Currently data on women who’ve experienced removals of children from her care isn’t collected routinely which means that it is difficult to learn lessons and improve support for women.
Recommendations for the Care Review
Our vision is a care system which recognises, understands and counts women who have experienced the removal of a child from her care, and delivers support to these women so it never has to happen more than once. Below are our key recommendations to the Care Review to work towards achieving that vision.
- The system response when a child is removed from their parents’ care needs to change. We propose a multi-agency panel brought together after care proceedings have ended – learning lessons from the child being removed and putting in place a wide-ranging community response for the parents.
- As part of the multi-agency community response described above it should always include support for parents through the implementation of statutory duty for post-removal trauma informed support after care proceedings.
- Data on parents who experience the removal of a child more than once should be collected and published nationally every year.
We look forward to continuing to engage and work with the Care Review team as they publish their initial thoughts and develop recommendations.
If you have any questions or would like any more information just get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find out more about the Care Review on Twitter @ReviewCSC