Why 25 newborn babies were taken into care in just one area

This shocking increase in newborn babies taken into care in Lincolnshire is reflected across the country, with more babies being taken than ever before. Instead of protecting mothers who are victims of domestic violence, their babies are taken, especially if the mums are young, live in poverty, are disabled and/or have been in “care” themselves. Most of these babies will become part of a privatised fostering and adoption industry, causing untold trauma to them and to their mothers and families who love them. It’s very hard for mothers to fight to stop babies and children being taken on the basis of “possible future emotional harm”, because it’s impossible to predict the future! Newborn babies need their mothers’ care and love above all else and snatching them at birth is inhumane.

By Jamie Waller Local Democracy Reporter, Lincolnite

Many of the babies who were taken into care after being born last year were at risk from domestic violence and substance abuse.

In 2021, 25 children were put into the care of North East Lincolnshire Council within the first week of being born.

This is the highest level in ten years.

The courts have the power to make care orders if the child is likely to be seriously harmed or neglected while remaining with a parent, and place them in the care of a local authority.

Some of the newborns who were subject to the orders had siblings who were already in the care system.

A total of 136 children have been taken into care within a week of being born since 2011, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

There has been an increase in these orders nationally over the past decade, with figures rising faster than average in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The council says its ability to identify young children at risk of harm has improved.

The care orders are made under section 31 of the Children’s Act.

Ten of the newborns subject to care orders last year were placed with a foster carer.

Five were fostered by a relative or friend, and three were placed with at least one of their parents.

An NHS trust or other medical body took responsibility for seven more in 2011.

After 2021, the year with the next highest number of orders for newborns was 2018 with 24.

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “Section 31 orders are issued by the court to protect children and young babies from harm and neglect.

“Nationally there has been a marked increase in section 31 orders being issued by the courts in recent years. Against the backdrop of this national trend, the Yorkshire and Humber region has seen a significant increase in particular.

“Children’s social care is such a challenging job and our staff alongside other agencies do everything they can to support parents.

“Whilst our ability to assess children and families pre-birth has improved, many of these are instances where domestic violence, substance abuse and previous instances of harm against children are key factors behind the decision. A number of these young children also have siblings that have been placed into care or are going through care proceedings.”