Babies who have been abused once are far more likely to be
abused again if they are allowed home, research suggests.
Researchers monitored 69 babies who had been physically abused
before they were one year old. Of the 49 babies who returned home
after a child protection investigation, 15 were abused again within
This rate of almost one in three – or 31 per cent – is much
higher than the abuse rate in the general population..
The researchers conclude that there is “a serious
failure” in secondary prevention in babies. Child protection
services should focus more on protecting babies and need to be more
cautious if the infants are returned to their families, states the
research published in the journal Archives of Disease in
“Our experience suggests that many social workers and
health visitors have not been trained to recognise the increased
risks of physical harm to babies that result from a previous
episode of abuse,” they say.