Services for parents who have experienced recurrent care proceedings

The first services to support parents who have experienced the removal of their children through recurrent care proceedings began from 2008. While related work in adoption support had been in place for some time, research has informed this emergent area of service reaching out in new ways to parents. As the map shows, services are relatively few. Most are quite small and, as a relatively new area of service they are often vulnerable to budget cuts.

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For full details see Mapping Services.

Service providers

Two services which have received national funding and have practice sites across the country are Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) which work to help parents who have substance misuse and other problems to achieve change during care proceedings, and Pause which works with women who have lost their children and have no children currently in their care.

The majority of the services in the Community of Practice work with parents who have experienced more than one set of care proceedings (recurrent care proceedings). There is increasingly a recognition of the need to work at an earlier point to prevent recurrent care proceedings. Some services are working with families following an initial set of proceedings and others are targeting intensive intervention to parents who have had a child removed and are now pregnant again.

Services providing support to parents who have experienced recurrent care proceedings are working with parents at different points of their life after their children have been removed from their care:

  • Some services work with parents pre-birth, supporting parents through a pregnancy, helping them achieve the changes necessary to keep their future children safely in their care.
  • Some work with parents who are going through care proceedings once again, supporting them during the process, and helping them achieve the necessary changes to their lives.
  • Some work with parents who are not pregnant and no longer have their children in their care, to help them come to terms with their loss and re-build their lives.
  • Some support parents before, during¬† and after care proceedings.

You can find out more about the different services currently operating across England below.

Findings from mapping of services

In the below video, Claire Mason talks about mapping services for parents who have experienced recurrent care proceedings as part of the work around setting up the online Community of Practice for services.

Claire Mason talks here about mapping services for parents who have experienced recurrent care proceedings as part of the work around setting up the online Community of Practice for services working in this.

Introduction to mapping report

Through the mapping work we aimed to identify all services across England that were specifically working with parents who have experienced one or more sets of care proceedings and collate basic information about these services for an online directory. In addition, we wanted to gain a more in-depth understanding of the range of locally developed services being offered and the similarities and differences between them.

As we outline in the report below in addition to the services being offered by Pause and FDAC, we have identified locally developed recurrent care services in 33 local authorities in England. Whilst the services differ in size, scope and resourcing, interviews with practitioners suggest a shared set of core components to their service. These are a combination of both what is delivered and the way in which the service is delivered.

Despite this evident growth in locally developed services, they are still relatively few in number, and small in scale. The services face a number of challenges, particularly with regards to sustainability and funding.

The report, Services for parents who have experienced recurrent care proceedings: Where are we now? Findings from mapping of locally developed services in England (2021), is the first national overview of existing, specialist services in England for parents who have appeared in one or more sets of care proceedings (commonly referred to as recurrent care proceedings).

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Additional service information

Available here are a range of leaflets and guides from services listed in the directory.
View additional information