Figures have been compiled by the University of Lancaster that show that 2,018 babies were involved in care cases in 2013, in comparison to a mere 802 in 2008 – a ‘huge rise’. There is still a huge amount of research that needs to be done in order to determine the cause of this increase, but it has been described as ‘worrying’ by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

It has been found that about half of the children in care were taken away from mothers who already had other children in care, and about a third were from women who fell pregnant during their teenage years. However, Professor Karen Broadhurst suggested that it could be linked to there being “more pressure to remove infants from situations of harm earlier because we can see the longer infants are left in situations of harm, the more psychological harm.”

It was even found that one woman had 16 children taken into care. It seems that after having one child removed, some mothers got into a pattern, whereby “they often talked about an initial unplanned pregnancy and then how having children removed exacerbated risky behaviour such as alcohol and drugs misuse.” Professor Broadhurst added that “as you have more babies removed the desire to replace the lost baby becomes stronger.” Some mothers reported feeling depressed and even suicidal due to this.

But what can be done to prevent this from happening? Should mothers receive more help before their child is taken away from them, or is it best for the child to be put into care straight away?