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Parents' experiences with child protection during pregnancy and post‐birth

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/11/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Child and Family Social Work
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date15/11/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Limited research has directly sought the input of parents involved in the child protection system during pregnancy and with their infants. As the focus of these policies and practices, parents have a unique and important insight not available to others, so it is vital to obtain their input. As part of a larger Australian study, qualitative interviews were undertaken with 13 parents asking about their views and experiences. Parents predominantly became involved with child protection services during pregnancy through a prenatal report. Parents who previously had their newborn removed from their care described it as sudden and unexpected, leaving them distressed and unsupported post‐removal, with a growing list of requirements for them to see their baby or for restoration to be considered. Domestic violence was a particular issue of concern for some mothers who expressed distress that their partners, perpetrators of violence, were allowed access to their infant with fewer requirements than for them. Improvements recommended by the parents included greater communication and preparation for the removal, better recognition of improvements in their situations and increased supports to be provided to parents both pre‐ and post‐removal. Parental experiences provide an important guide to improving child protection practice with these families.