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Collaborating for the public good: working across boundaries to catalyse and inform preventive services for birth mothers who have lost children from their care

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Developing Practice
Issue number54
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)62-78
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Between 2014 and 2017, I was fortunate to lead a team of academic and practice colleagues who produced the first mixed methods study of birth mothers and recurrent care proceedings in England. The study was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and was prompted by increasing national concerns about what is termed the 'repeat removals' problem in the English Family Court (Broadhurst and Mason, 2013; Broadhurst, Shaw, Harwin, and Alrouh, 2014; Cox, 2012).1By repeat removals, I refer to women's experience of successive family court proceedings and multiple losses of infants and children from their care on account of child protection concerns. Our work has been widely cited as catalysing change in the availability of intensive preventative services in England and Wales and further afield, by evidencing the scale of women's vulnerability to recurrent care proceedings. In this article, rather than rehearse the team's findings, which have been widely reported elsewhere (Broadhurst, Alrouh, Yeend, Harwin, Shaw, Pilling and Kershaw, 2015a; Broadhurst, Mason, Bedston, Alrouh, Morriss, McQuarrie, Shaw and Kershaw, 2017) and covered annually by the UK national press (e.g. BBC Today Programme, 2015; The Guardian 2016; BBC Radio Wales, 2019), I will focus on the value of collaborating across academic and practice boundaries in both the conduct of research and delivery of practice change.