8.45 Pregnancy of a Child

Added July 2020

Date of next review July 2022

This section should be read in conjunction with Pre-Birth Conference  and Concealed Pregnancy and Sexually active children  




All professionals have a responsibility to consider the welfare of both the prospective mother and her baby, any assessment of need should address what support systems exist for the young woman and her family and should consider early help and support services, particularly where the mother is a looked after child or care leaver herself. However, the paramount concern must be for the welfare of the baby, and there should be no circumstances in which concerns about the baby are not shared and investigated for fear of damaging a relationship with a young parent.


 Where a parent is herself a child, in the absence of support for her needs and responsibilities, her baby could be at risk of significant harm, primarily through neglect or emotional abuse


Where there are concerns about the ability of any young mother to care for her baby without additional support, a referral must also be made to Children's Services -Making a referral  

Mother under 16 years of age


It is illegal for children under 16 years to be sexually active; professionals will assess whether the young person’s actions and decision making are Gillick competent and whether to involve safeguarding partners. Please refer to Sexually Active Children Policy  


All professionals, particularly health and education staff who have most contact with pregnant teenagers, should be alert to situations where a teenage mother is not in contact with local authority children's social care and a referral should be made at the earliest opportunity.


Children's Services should undertake an assessment of the unborn child's needs and any potential risk of harm posed to them from the mother's needs and circumstances, including the mother's relationship with the father / current partner and the parenting capacity of both.

Mother over 16 years of age


If a young mother is over 16, professionals should:

  • Make an assessment of the risk of harm to the baby, consulting their agency's designated safeguarding professional as appropriate;
  • Assess the risk of harm to the mother through her relationship with the father / current partner.

If, on the basis of these assessments, a professional has concerns about the ability of a young mother over the age of 16 to care for her baby without additional support services, then a referral should be made to Children’s Services.

lscb-logo 01273 481544
wsscb-logo 0330 222 5296
bhlscb-logo 01273 292379

This page is correct as printed on Friday 7th of August 2020 04:32:59 AM please refer back to this website ( for updates.