In October 2018, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory published ‘Born into care: Newborns in care proceedings in England’, the first ever national study of newborn babies (under one week old) in the family justice system in England, led by the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University.

The report uncovered a sharp increase in the number of newborns being subject to care proceedings in England—but also revealed marked regional differences in the number and rate of infants being removed from their parents’ care.

To explore the factors that might lie behind these regional variations, a number of workshops were held with professionals from 57 local authorities in the North East, North West, London, the West Midlands, and Yorkshire and Humber. Claire Mason and Professor Karen Broadhurst from the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research facilitated the workshops and summarised the themes. The insights are shared in this discussion paper.

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