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Birth Companions is developing a new publication, called a ‘Birth Charter’, for women who have involvement from children’s social services during pregnancy or before their child’s second birthday.

Birth Companions’ own caseload, and wider research into newborn and infant care proceedings, highlights many areas of concern in terms of the way pregnant women and mothers of infants are treated by the services they are in contact with at this crucial time – the maternity system, the children’s social services system, and for some also the criminal justice system.

The Birth Charter will provide a set of principles to govern the care of pregnant women and birth mothers, protecting their rights and responding to their complex needs in this critical period. These principles will draw on the evidence gathered in the Born into Care research series and the newly developed guidance for when the State intervenes at birth. They will be of use to individual professionals and organisations across a number of systems in shaping policy and practice to drive improvement in this largely overlooked area of need.

At this event Birth Companions’ Head of Policy Kirsty Kitchen will be seeking input from our members to inform the new Charter, focusing on a number of key issues including the nature of pre-birth work and urgent hearings in the immediate postnatal period.