Born into care: 1000 mothers in care proceedings in Wales

Mental health, well-being, pregnancy and birth outcomes
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Date of publication:  17 Jun 2020 Publisher:  Nuffield Family Justice Observatory Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

Over a sample of 1,000 mothers in Wales having babies under care proceedings during the babies’ first year of age, 53% showed a previous mental health condition during pregnancy (13% in a control group) where 77% of the cases were mentioned in the hospital records.

Wales has made this research to emphasize how a mother’s mental health causes the newborns to be under the continuously varying care proceeding. Due to the increase in the number of these newborns with the course of time, the support of women during pregnancy is a must. Another finding of this research conducted by the Family Justice Data Partnership, a collaboration between Lancaster University and Swansea University, was about the involvement of mothers in children’s care which decreases the tendency of contacting prenatal services.

Percentages of all findings can be represented as follow:

  • The proportion of ⅔ of pregnant women registered for assessment (87% in the control group).
  • 38% were under substance abuse before giving birth (6% in the population).
  • 63% were smokers at assessment registration (17% in the control group).
  • 60% were smokers at the child’s birth (15% in the control group).
  • 97% of the newborns were, unexpectedly, in good physical health (slight possibility of pre-term birth with lower weights). 

Referring to Lisa Harker, Nuffield FJO’s director, the proportional relationship between parental mental crisis and newborns under care highlights the necessity of providing specific help for women, especially during early pregnancy.


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Country(s) this content is relevant to: 
United Kingdom

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