Latest statistics show that around 20,000 babies were removed from their mothers in the last seven years. The sad thing is that a number of those will have further children, thus setting a cycle of children being removed again and again.
The cycle occurs when a young child or baby is removed from a mother by the courts due to abuse or neglect and the mother has another baby a year or two later and due to no change in her ability to protect the child, the baby is again removed.
Unfortunately it is not too uncommon for a family of four, five or six children being placed in care at various stages. One Supervising Social Worker who worked with a foster carer who looked after a child of fourteen years of age said “…the young person had eight siblings of various ages from four to sixteen, they were placed with various carers across the country. Logistically it was a nightmare for the various foster carers trying to arrange contact for all of them…”
There are some agencies that try to break the cycle such as “Pause”, a scheme focused on prevention. Pause, not affiliated with Social Services, tries to break the cycle, supporting women to change their patterns. What is offered is intensive work, looking at the underlying issues and offering practical advice on birth control.
One of Pause’s practitioners, Jane, spoke to the Telegraph at Telegraph co.uk and said “…Almost without exception, these women themselves are victims of abusive, violent, neglectful, parenting and traumatic experiences. Their emotional needs are not met in childhood and there are no examples of how to live constructively…”
Some mothers who have children removed because of being in relationships where domestic violence takes place, are able to break the cycle and eventually leave the abusive partner. One social worker stated that “one mother I worked with had two children who were removed at seven years old, she was in an abusive relationship but could not put the needs of her children before the abuser and thus the children were removed for their safety. The mother eventually left the abusive partner and had another child four years later. The child was assessed to be safe living with mother and her new partner and thus remained in her care. While it was a positive outcome that she was able to change the cycle, her other two children did have a feeling of rejection as the mother had made no contact with them and they then felt rejected because she had a new baby that was living with her, leaving her other two children to wander what was possibly wrong with them…”
The impact of young people being removed from families and being placed into care is great and social services only initiate proceedings as a last resort. We need more foster carers to support these young people who have been removed from their parents care. If you can help, have a spare bedroom and have time, patience and understanding to foster, then why not contact us on 02087 990 930.