The Times: Justice for Families

I am proud to have played a part in the excellent Times campaign which has covered:

  • exaggeration of risk in bruised babies
  • misdiagnosis of fractures
  • babies unnecessarily taken into care
  • high use of care orders in Wales
  • rapid increase in investigations
  • rapid increase in parents falsely accused of harming their children
  • administrative delays harming children
  • trauma of groundless investigations
  • oppressive family court privacy
  • the importance of maintaining breastfeeding

The campaign has already been instrumental in changing local authority policies and being the stimulus for a national review of policies on bruising

Shortage-of-infant-x-ray-experts-‘causing-babies-to-be-taken-into-care-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times

Social-workers-too-quick-to-wade-in-review-finds-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times

Too-many-children-wrongly-taken-into-care-admits-chief-social-worker-Isabelle-Trowler-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times

Exposed_-Broken-system-that-took-away-my-baby-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times

The-Welsh-towns-where-1-in-44-children-are-cared-for-by-the-state-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times-25-04-21-1

Policewomans-baby-taken-into-care-after-NHS-error-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times-1

Family-court-privacy-laws-put-judges-needs-first-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times-23-05-21-1

‘My-baby-was-taken-away-for-months-over-tiny-bruises-and-a-fracture-that-didnt-exist-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times-may-16-1

I-found-one-bruise-—-and-they-took-my-baby-away-_-News-_-The-Sunday-Times-1

Born into care data

Here’s the basic data used in the born into care study. An excel spreadsheet is available here

Local AuthorityNumber BIC 07-08Number BIC 17-18%BIC 07-08%BIC 17Live births 17-18Live birth 07-08IMD score 07-08IMD score 17change in rate BICRank BIC 07-08Rank BIC 17-18Most recent Ofsted at 17-18
Blackpool12360.71%2.19%1643169437.6645.041.48%11Inadequate
Hartlepoolx170.26%1.69%1006117334.1035.041.43%662Good
Sunderland13440.40%1.52%2903325131.7930.591.12%293Inadequate
Torbay8180.57%1.34%1339141026.4228.100.78%124Inadequate
North East Lincolnshirex220.15%1.23%1791198029.7331.341.08%1125Good
Middlesbrough8220.40%1.13%1939198338.9440.460.73%286Requires improvement
Rotherham19340.59%1.10%3084321226.7129.550.51%117Good
Stockton-On-Tees8230.35%1.07%2144227623.8025.790.72%428Good
Newcastle Upon Tyne16340.49%1.04%3266323831.3629.790.55%179Requires improvement
Kirklees19530.34%1.02%5202565425.2325.150.68%4510Inadequate
Durham25500.44%0.99%5033563127.1326.790.55%2011Requires improvement
Wakefield8390.21%0.97%4026388927.0727.310.76%8512Inadequate
Telford and Wrekinx200.13%0.96%2079223222.3524.990.83%11913Requires improvement
Stoke-On-Trent16300.44%0.91%3293360136.0334.500.47%1914Inadequate
Redcar and Clevelandx130.20%0.91%1436152729.6929.790.71%8815Requires improvement
Northumberlandx250.10%0.90%2768303920.8222.080.80%13416Requires improvement
Bolton21330.56%0.89%3703373729.6730.690.33%1317Good
Walsall22340.62%0.88%3876352430.1431.560.25%818Requires improvement
Kingston Upon Hull, City of24290.69%0.85%3430347138.3140.560.15%219Requires improvement
Doncaster14290.38%0.84%3444367830.8430.290.46%3520Good
Barnsley10230.36%0.84%2752275130.4829.930.47%4021Good
Norfolk15720.17%0.83%8670870818.5521.180.66%9922Requires improvement
Liverpool26490.48%0.83%5906537046.9742.410.35%1823Requires improvement
South Tyneside11130.65%0.83%1568169831.1631.510.18%724Good
Derby22260.66%0.82%3184333726.6426.320.16%525Good
Blackburn with Darwen6160.26%0.80%2008233835.8336.010.54%6526Good
Darlingtonx90.24%0.79%1137125724.1025.660.55%7427Requires improvement
Portsmouth11190.44%0.79%2414247924.2126.900.34%2128Good
Gateshead15160.67%0.78%2061224129.5228.220.11%429Good
Thurrockx190.13%0.77%2479240021.3120.930.64%12430Requires improvement
Southampton12240.39%0.76%3152307824.3126.880.37%3231Requires improvement
Dudley14280.39%0.75%3713359223.6824.100.36%3332Requires improvement
Oldham10250.30%0.75%3326337630.8233.160.46%5833Requires improvement
Peterborough15230.54%0.75%3072277024.4927.820.21%1434Good
Warringtonx160.13%0.75%2143239617.8918.940.62%12335Requires improvement
Wirral11250.30%0.74%3366368827.9029.590.44%5436Inadequate
Wolverhampton10260.30%0.74%3537336433.0232.100.44%5737Good
BedfordZ16Z0.73%21901928Z18.93Z38XXX
Southend-on-Sea8160.37%0.72%2220218922.4722.380.36%3839Requires improvement
Sandwell11330.25%0.70%4696441037.0334.880.45%7040Inadequate
Cheshire EastZ26Z0.68%3833XXXZ14.48Z41Requires improvement
Halton7100.43%0.67%1482163732.6132.330.25%2442Requires improvement
Bradford28500.34%0.65%7639828832.0034.670.32%4443Inadequate
Nottingham28270.68%0.65%4178410537.4634.89-0.04%344Requires improvement
Bracknell Forest090.00%0.64%141314978.7510.240.64%14645Good
Lancashire29800.21%0.63%127571350322.2923.440.41%8246Requires improvement
Bournemouth6130.30%0.61%2130197522.99XXX0.31%5147XXX
Leeds33580.36%0.58%9967927325.0727.300.23%4148Outstanding
Wiltshire12280.24%0.58%4838506110.3913.450.34%7649Requires improvement
Herefordshirex100.17%0.58%1738181617.5818.890.41%10350Requires improvement
Coventry13250.30%0.56%4443437327.8525.610.27%5651Requires improvement
Somerset12300.22%0.56%5367539015.9018.550.34%7952Requires improvement
Tameside17160.60%0.56%2875284328.7831.37-0.04%1053Inadequate
Derbyshire14420.17%0.56%7563810918.7418.390.38%9854Good
Brighton and Hove21150.65%0.55%2704320925.5620.76-0.10%655Good
Warwickshire13330.22%0.55%5970597314.5715.640.34%8156Requires improvement
Cornwall21280.41%0.54%5162514123.9823.070.13%2757Good
Salford13190.41%0.53%3560313536.5134.210.12%2658Good
Bury9120.37%0.53%2249241721.4223.680.16%3759Requires improvement
Cheshire West & ChesterZ19Z0.53%3566XXXZ18.08Z60Good
Plymouth10150.31%0.53%2832319826.1126.620.22%4961Requires improvement
Leicester19260.38%0.53%4916503334.6830.880.15%3662Requires improvement
East Sussex13260.25%0.53%4937512018.7819.770.27%6763Outstanding
Wigan9190.25%0.52%3641366926.9125.710.28%7164Good
Staffordshire14440.16%0.52%8491899616.2316.570.36%10865Good
Sefton12140.44%0.51%2727275525.1327.040.08%2266Requires improvement
Devon12350.17%0.50%6940706717.4416.610.33%10167Requires improvement
Northamptonshire16440.18%0.49%8897899016.0518.610.32%9668Requires improvement
Lincolnshire20370.28%0.49%7485715018.0820.290.21%6269Good
Leicestershirex340.04%0.49%6947683410.7912.330.45%14270Requires improvement
Manchester30360.40%0.48%7467752244.5040.010.08%3071Requires improvement
Solihullx110.14%0.48%2299215516.1617.370.34%11572Requires improvement
West Sussex19410.22%0.48%8630858813.1114.430.25%8073Requires improvement
Rochdale10140.32%0.47%2966311333.8934.420.15%4774Requires improvement
Suffolk31350.39%0.46%7674792415.2618.460.06%3175Good
Poolex70.18%0.46%1538164814.93Z0.27%9476XXX
Bristol, City of17270.29%0.45%5960593127.7626.360.17%6077Requires improvement
Croydon7260.13%0.45%5761531521.3122.480.32%12078Inadequate
North Tyneside14100.62%0.45%2227226823.5122.28-0.17%979Good
Traffordx120.11%0.45%2674282217.3316.090.34%12980Good
East Riding of Yorkshire8130.25%0.45%2901315114.1715.610.19%6881Good
Nottinghamshire16380.19%0.45%8536856619.5219.000.26%9182Good
Barking and Dagenham6170.18%0.44%3870338434.4932.770.26%9783Requires improvement
St. Helens1190.53%0.44%2050207529.8231.52-0.09%1584Requires improvement
Cumbria21200.42%0.44%4563499821.1921.260.02%2585Requires improvement
Haringey13170.30%0.44%3881432535.7327.960.14%5386Requires improvement
Dorsetx150.08%0.44%3445367914.1915.740.35%13887Requires improvement
Central BedfordshireZ14Z0.43%3230XXXZ12.15Z88Good
Swindonx120.11%0.42%2840283516.9418.620.32%13089Requires improvement
Lewisham20200.43%0.42%4751467131.0426.66-0.01%2390Requires improvement
Calderdale10100.39%0.42%2395257323.0126.350.03%3491Good
Stockport10130.30%0.39%3299330518.0620.830.09%5292Good
Shropshirex110.10%0.39%2793286416.2417.150.29%13193Good
Worcestershire8230.13%0.39%5897622315.5018.090.26%12294Inadequate
Medway Townsx140.09%0.39%3601334519.5523.940.30%13795Requires improvement
Greenwich8170.18%0.38%4453447133.9424.460.20%9596Good
Bromleyx160.08%0.38%4238395614.3614.160.30%13997Good
York670.30%0.38%1858201313.4011.730.08%5598Good
Oxfordshire13270.16%0.37%7352814810.8511.660.21%10799Good
Bath and North East Somersetx60.17%0.35%1704180211.4711.750.19%102100Good
North Yorkshire8190.14%0.35%5441578013.3614.760.21%116101Outstanding
North Somersetx70.13%0.34%2060230015.0115.830.21%121102Requires improvement
Hampshire34460.24%0.33%138181446810.4112.690.10%77103Good
Readingx80.12%0.33%2411243919.3019.620.21%125104Inadequate
Bexley7100.24%0.32%3095294716.2116.270.09%75105Outstanding
Westminster980.31%0.32%2481292926.3020.340.02%50106Outstanding
Cambridgeshire10220.14%0.32%6894701511.4913.860.18%114107Requires improvement
Islington990.32%0.31%2946279238.9627.54-0.02%46108Good
Kent27530.16%0.30%174671656316.9919.540.14%104109Good
Gloucestershire10190.15%0.29%6537656214.6814.930.14%111110Inadequate
Milton Keynes6100.17%0.29%3504350115.3217.980.11%100111Requires improvement
Essex32460.20%0.28%165631576914.6917.020.07%86112Outstanding
Hackney9120.20%0.28%4336450046.1032.530.08%87113Good
Birmingham62450.37%0.27%165061697538.6738.07-0.09%39114Requires improvement
Enfield7130.14%0.27%4778485626.1925.780.13%113115Good
Luton890.23%0.26%3432348824.7325.910.03%78116Requires improvement
Lambeth10110.21%0.26%4265482234.9425.420.05%83117Requires improvement
Ealing10130.19%0.25%5116534625.1022.710.07%90118Good
Southwark13110.26%0.25%4381496633.3325.81-0.01%64119Good
Hammersmith and Fulhamx60.11%0.25%2392269528.0722.270.14%128120Good
Sheffield16160.24%0.25%6491660127.8427.060.00%72121Requires improvement
Isle Of Wightxx0.25%0.24%1230120220.6723.29-0.01%69122Good
Sloughx60.12%0.24%2529246022.3122.970.12%126123Requires improvement
Buckinghamshire6140.10%0.24%591258539.0110.050.13%132124Inadequate
Hertfordshire19320.14%0.22%143011401211.8912.730.09%117125Good
Brent10110.21%0.21%5208483929.2225.560.00%84126Good
Havering970.35%0.21%3395257516.0716.79-0.14%43127Good
Newham16120.26%0.20%5966605342.9529.58-0.06%63128Inadequate
Tower Hamlets1090.24%0.20%4604414444.6427.91-0.05%73129Inadequate
Wandsworth990.18%0.19%4721493620.3416.610.01%92130Requires improvement
Hillingdon780.18%0.18%4408384518.5618.220.00%93131Good
Windsor and Maidenheadxx0.16%0.18%165718588.518.380.02%105132Requires improvement
North Lincolnshire6x0.32%0.18%1667187720.8822.10-0.14%48133Outstanding
Kensington and Chelseaxx0.14%0.18%1699221823.5121.530.04%118134Outstanding
West Berkshirexx0.16%0.18%170819288.199.950.02%109135Good
Barnetx90.06%0.17%5190512021.1616.150.11%141136Inadequate
Wokinghamxx0.16%0.17%178818745.365.850.01%106137Requires improvement
Harrowx60.10%0.16%3695308815.5915.030.07%135138Good
Knowsley10x0.52%0.15%2018192243.2043.01-0.37%16139Requires improvement
Surrey21190.15%0.15%12881136288.0710.09-0.01%110140Inadequate
Kingston Upon Thames0x0.00%0.14%2185219713.1011.380.14%144141Good
Waltham Forest1360.29%0.13%4684444933.1925.21-0.16%59142Good
Redbridgex60.07%0.13%4707408520.3617.200.05%140143Good
Richmond Upon Thames0x0.00%0.12%244128849.559.430.12%143144Good
Camden9x0.29%0.12%2607314728.6220.13-0.17%61145Good
Suttonxx0.12%0.11%2642256813.9813.990.00%127146Good
Mertonxx0.09%0.09%3172330014.6214.650.00%136147Good
South Gloucestershirexx0.10%0.09%319130049.5811.66-0.01%133148Inadequate
Hounslow8x0.20%0.07%4166408223.2021.49-0.12%89149Good
Rutlandx00.84%0.00%3353587.498.38-0.84%151Requires improvement
City Of London000.00%0.00%745812.8414.720.00%145150Good
BBC: From Cradle to Care

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.