Extent of re-abuse uncovered in study

A paediatrican is calling for more research into the number of
children who are re-abused when they return home after child
protection investigations.

It follows a recent study that showed a cycle of abuse that affects
one in three babies when they are reunited with their

Martin Ward Platt, consultant paediatrican at Newcastle Infirmary,
called the findings from the Welsh study “depressing”. But he said
he would like to see further research from other parts of the

For three years researchers from Keele and Cardiff universities
followed the progress of 69 children who had been abused before
they were one. Of the 49 babies who were returned to their families
after child protection investigations, 15 were abused again.

The study, which was published in the Archives of Disease in
, says: “We must focus child protection services more
on actually protecting babies and be more cautious where
intervention involves their reintroduction to their families.”

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