Services and support for mothers and newborn babies in vulnerable situations: A study of eight European jurisdictions
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonChildren and Youth Services Review. 2021, 120, 105762. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105762
European countries have a legal obligation to provide services to vulnerable families, and children must not be removed from their parents’ care unless no other viable measures are available. This paper examines whether and how eight jurisdictions provide necessary support and services to families with newborn babies who are considered to be at risk in the child protection system. The data consist of all judgments (n = 216) concerning care orders for 220 newborns for periods ranging from one to several years. The analysis shows that services are provided in an overall majority of the cases but with distinct differences between jurisdictions. These differences are not due to the type of child protection system. Furthermore, we cannot ascertain whether service provision follows parental problems, or identify similarities due to the special case of newborns. We conclude that there are huge knowledge gaps regarding both service provision and the effects of services.