Programme to stop Northamptonshire mothers having multiple children taken into care agreed

The programme has been given cross party backing.
The programme has been given cross party backing.

A programme to help Northamptonshire mothers having multiple children taken into care has been given cross-party backing.

Northamptonshire county council’s cabinet agreed this week to move forward with the Pause Programme which uses a combination of contraception and counselling to help vulnerable women from having their child removed.

The authority is proposing to spend £794,000 on the three-year programme from its public health budget and hopes to save £2.6m during that time in reduced legal and care costs.

The plan is that 48 Northamptonshire women who either have had two or more children removed from their guardianship, or who have no children in their care, will be signed up to the programme.

The authority has identified 300 women who could be eligible for the scheme which would be outsourced to a Derby company called Ripplez to run and paid on a per results basis as part of a Social Impact Bond initiative.

Both Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors have given the Conservative-run authority their support to the programme.

Speaking at the meeting at One Angel Square Liberal Democrat Chris Stanbra said: “I looked at this and thought it can only be a good thing and sincerely hope it will be.”

Labour councillor Danielle Stone said: “I was delighted when I saw this programme coming forward but I have a lot of questions to ask about it.

“I agree with this programme but I also think we need to address the reasons why families and women end up in this situation in the first place in higher numbers in the county than anywhere else.”

Cllr Stone said the authority also had to take note of an academic assessment into the Pause Programme which found that practitioners needed to have a low caseload and for women to have intensive support for it to work.