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Babies in care proceedings: What do we know about parents with learning disabilities or difficulties? 

Join us for a webinar covering new research that suggests that the needs of parents with learning disabilities or difficulties might not be currently being met, and potential ways forward.

During this webinar, new research findings on the prevalence, circumstances and experiences of parents with learning disabilities or difficulties who are involved in care proceedings with their babies will be presented and discussed. We will also hear the views of parents and professionals.

The research – carried out by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University and being published in June 2024 by Nuffield Family Justice Observatory – is based on an examination of court bundles, children’s social care records and interviews with parents, lawyers and social care professionals in England.

The webinar will be chaired by Lisa Harker, Director of Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, and will include:

    • A presentation from Professor Katy Burch, Lead Researcher, Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University, on the research findings and recommendations  
    • Views from parents with learning disabilities or difficulties who have been involved in care proceedings with their babies  
    • Views from a range of professionals who support parents with learning disabilities and difficulties 
    • Questions from the audience and a panel discussion 

    The webinar will be hosted via Zoom. Your questions for the panel are welcomed before or during the webinar; please submit advance questions when registering and/or in Zoom Chat on the day.

    The session will be of particular interest to judges, lawyers, intermediaries and social workers – both those working with children and those working with adults with learning disabilities. Please join us to find out more about this latest research, listen to parent and professional perspectives, and share your own thoughts and questions.

    The event will be recorded and sections of it may be made publicly available at a later date 


    • Headshot of Lisa Harker.
      Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
    • Professor Katy Burch
      Assistant Director
      Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University
    • Beth Tarleton
      Senior Lecturer, School for Policy Studies
      University of Bristol
    • Nadine Tilbury
      Policy Officer, Working Together With Parents Network
      University of Bristol
    • Reagan Persaud
      Spire Barristers