The time has come for a thorough government review in relation to care proceedings in England and Wales.
The system is simply not working. Young mothers who have suffered abuse as children, who have become vulnerable with low cognitive functioning, susceptible to domestic violence and who then neglect their children, are having those children removed on a regular basis.
Children are then placed for adoption because there is no loving grandparent to step in. The mother is placed back in the community, vulnerable once again following a period of stability involving a foster placement.
Foster carers should arguably have a continuing role with the mother, to support and help prevent the next child they have coming into the care system.
Far more attention and cost needs to be focused on children in their early years, to ensure they receive the nurturing they require.
Our current system targets neither the abuse and neglect young children face, nor the vulnerability of young mothers when their children are removed.
Ian Godfrey, director and member of the Law Society Children’s Law Accredited Scheme; Shepherd Harris & Co, Enfield