Next Steps service
Support after court proceedings is crucial in circumstances where children don’t return home. Most parents find the loss of their children emotionally devastating and this can exacerbate their own existing difficulties such as increasing drug or alcohol misuse, depression, self harm or suicidal thoughts. For 1 in 4 mothers there is also a risk that they will become pregnant again during or soon after proceedings, in this situation they would find themselves being assessed and potentially back in court proceedings regarding the new baby.
Our Next Steps service provides parents with support at the end of court proceedings. We aim to support parents to:
- come to terms with the loss of their child/children;
- make plans for their own future;
- work towards positive change for themselves;
- avoid a further immediate pregnancy.
The support is shaped by each parent’s individual needs and interests but can include:
- one to one support sessions;
- attendance at the Haven art group;
- support during the farewell contact with their child/children;
- support setting up and maintaining letterbox contact, or other contact, with their child/children;
- accessing specialist services (such as family planning services, mental health services, benefit and debt advice, drug and alcohol services, domestic abuse services);
- attending fitness classes, gym and swimming sessions;
- engaging with community groups i.e art sessions, cooking courses; cycling groups, community allotment, church or faith groups;
- accessing volunteering, training and education opportunities.