Vulnerable young people need to be targeted before they become parents to prevent a cycle of child neglect, according to the chair of Northamptonshire’s children’s safeguarding board.
Kevin Crompton was speaking in the wake of the serious case review into the death of Maisie Harrison (not her real name), a baby from Northamptonshire who died of suspected sudden infant death syndrome but who had been neglected through all four weeks of her life. The review said her 18-year-old mum was violent, abused drugs and alcohol and was having sex with older men from the age of 14. The report says this was picked up at school but not followed up on.
Kevin Crompton said: “The mother herself was an extremely troubled teenager and you get this cycle.
“There’s a pattern in social care cases that goes from generation to generation.
“It’s about how can we persuade people with these lifestyles not to have children unless they can look after the child.
“I think to break that cycle of depravation, for want of a better word, we need to pick people up before they get into crisis, to get them off drugs, get them off alcohol to teach them parenting skills to get them into work.
“If we invest in early support services, which is what Northamptonshire County Council is now doing, we can prevent some of these cases. It’s going to need a bit more investment than we are seeing at the moment.”