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First steps report

One in four women whose children have been permanently removed from their care are likely to have successive children removed within the following seven years. Despite this, these women often do not receive appropriate support from services.

First Steps is a pilot resulting from a collaboration between the Anna Freud Centre and Pause, a national charity that works to support women who have experienced a child being removed. The intervention consisted of an 18-month mentalization-based group treatment for women who have had at least two children removed from their care and were at risk of repeat removals due to the impact of complex trauma on their parenting.

This report details the preliminary findings from interviews with three women who took part in the group. These women reported feeling supported and at ease in the group. Additionally, they felt they had gained new perspectives from the group. This was consistent with the views of practitioners, who felt the women were more able to reflect on their thoughts, feelings, and actions after the group. Limitations and discussion and next steps are also outlined.  

  • First Steps summary report

    Download the summary report.

  • First Steps Evaluation report

    Download the report.