11th May 2023

18 St John Street Family Law Specialist Yvonne Healing has had an article published in the April edition of ‘Family Law’. The article looks at the practical application of the law and practice guidance in respect of babies in the care system.

Babies in the Care System: are we Saving or Failing them?

Yvonne summarises the article:

“We are all experienced in the all too familiar scenario. An application to the court is made late in the day. A baby has just been born and the mother is told that the child will be removed. There is very little time to collate evidence.

The mother is recovering from the birth – she is usually still in hospital.

A duty guardian is asked to become involved.

There is no or limited court time to deal with the case.

Cover of Family Law Journal in which the article on Babies in the Care System features

These circumstances are very challenging for everybody involved in child protection work. There can be little doubt that this is far from ideal. Can this situation be avoided?

In this article I look at the practical application of the law and practice guidance in respect of babies before and following birth.

There are far too many cases which come to court in which the mother is not told about a plan for removal until shortly before or even after the birth of the baby. This is indescribably brutal. But it also, in many cases, misses opportunities for work to be undertaken with the parents or wider family which may lead to a more constructive plan, even if it ultimately does not lead to the child remaining in the care of his parents.”

How to read the full article

The article can be read by clicking HERE. (A subscription is required but a free trial is available. More information is available through the link or on the main website).

Yvonne Healing

Yvonne Healing is a member of the Family Department at 18 St John Street Chambers. For more information, please click the links highlighted above. Alternatively, contact a member of the family clerking team on 0161 278 8263 or via email