Mothers on Trial: Building bridges between services for women and children involved in the family and criminal justice system
Sheila Kitzinger Programme
A network has been established to provide opportunities for dialogue, to share best practice, policy solutions and academic research, with a focus on women and children caught between different systems of justice. This network was established by Birth Companions with the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University in 2021, with initial funding from the Sheila Kitzinger Programme.
A first national conference was held on the 5th of October 2021 (programme here) with a specific focus on support for women who are pregnant or have a new baby, and who are involved with children’s social care and/or the family justice system and the criminal justice system. The title of the first conference was Building bridges between maternity, social care, and criminal justice to support pregnancy and early motherhood.
Involvement with multiple systems and services can lead to women either being overwhelmed by the demands of different practitioners or getting lost between gaps in services. Alternatively, women and their babies can receive the best of joined up solutions that optimise maternal and baby health, safety and wellbeing. The conference attracted an excellent group of speakers and workshop leads who shared insights about practice challenges, but also examples of excellent practice solutions.
A full recording of the morning session is available on the CFJ Youtube channel here.
Learning from the Born into Care series: why building bridges matters for everyone - Karen Broadhurst (slides)
A Window of Opportunity: the intersections between criminal justice and social services in pregnancy and early motherhood - Naomi Delap & Kirsty Kitchen (slides)
Case review of Mother and Baby Unit (MBU): social work decision making - Isabelle Trowler
Compulsory separation of women prisoners from their babies following childbirth - Laura Abbott
Learning from marginalised mothers’ experiences of maternity care: not much Better Births - Tamsin Bicknell (slides)
Key messages from the independent review of children’s social care - Josh MacAlister
Justice social work is social work: motherhood, social work, and criminal justice - Caroline Bald (slides)
Maternal imprisonment: the impact on maternal role and identity - Lucy Baldwin (slides)
Maternal sentencing: keeping mother and child in mind - Shona Minson (slides)
Principles of engaging and coproducing with women who have lived experiences of separation - Claire Mason & Kate Chivers (recording)
Management of pregnant women and primary carers of young children through the criminal justice system - Kirsty Kitchen & Liz Hales (recording)