BBC: From Cradle to Care

Broadcast: Wed 13 Nov 2019.

Over the past decade, the number of newborns being taken into care has more than doubled. In some cases, this separation happens within hours of childbirth. While these children may be at risk of serious harm, can the number of parents unable to look after their child have risen so dramatically? Or are other factors at play?

From Cradle to Care exposes inconsistencies in standards, numbers, and thresholds. In the North East and North West, rates have tripled. In North Wales, the increase is even starker. It’s easy to place the blame on austerity, but at a second glance the evidence suggests more intangible factors. Austerity becomes one piece of a very complex puzzle.

This well put together BBC program uses my new research showing that 2.1% of live births in Blackpool in 2017-18 were taken into care within a week of their birth. My figures show 40% higher rates of children ‘born into care’ than Karen Broadhurst’s foundational study because it included children who initially enter care by agreement with parents.