15.20 Pre-birth planning for care leavers




This protocol applies to all professionals working with Care Leavers who are expectant parents. This includes partners of the expectant person, even if they are no longer in a relationship.


This protocol does not replace current procedures and processes in relation to unborn children however, it provides a variation in respect to the possible need for early intervention for care leavers with whom we have Corporate Parenting responsibility for, and soon to be Corporate Grandparents.


Care Leavers often do not have extensive support from family and friends and whilst many go on to parent children without intervention from social care, others may need extra support or experience difficulties. Given their care leaving status, young people who have lived through the care system can be particularly fearful of any assessment process therefore across Sussex we want to offer joined-up solutions with our professional partners to better assist this process.


When a care leaver announces they are expecting a baby, either as the expectant pregnant person or their partner, the lead agency involved will take the time to identify need, and any potential concern, to consider the need for a Pre-Birth Assessment for the Unborn child, alongside a support plan of their own.


There is considerable consensus among practitioners the early stage of pregnancy is a celebratory time, attention to the language used, transparency, measured and change-orientated action, alongside continued exploration to our young people’s own histories and how this may impact on their ability and willingness to engage with services, constitute best practice.



The principles that underpin this protocol:

  • To eliminate any form of discrimination experienced by our care leavers who are about to become parents 
  •  To ensure care leavers are appropriately supported throughout the pregnancy and into parenthood
  •  Facilitate a joined-up decision making process that involves the lead agency known to the young person
  •  To consider how, from a multi-agency perspective, time and space is given to explore ways to overcome barriers and maximise the opportunity for care leavers to build meaningful and proactive relationships with all partner agencies
  • To set standards of good practice

Process for Care Leavers


Young people aged 18-25 open to the Leaving Care Team. This applies to either parent of the unborn child, not just the expectant pregant person.

Young People 18-25 OPEN to Leaving Care Team


Young people aged 21+ and closed to the Leaving Care Team. This applies to either parent of the unborn child, not just the expectant pregnant person.

 Young People 21+ CLOSED to Leaving Care Team


If the threshold for social care intervention has been agreed for the unborn baby, they will be opened to Social Care to allow for a pre-birth assessment take place. 

Package of support available to all expectant parents within Brighton and Hove


Baby Box Project

 Box of items up to the value of £50 for new-born baby including nappies, first aid kit, blankets, toiletries etc.  One off grant of £200 to purchase item/s of choice for new-born baby

Parent and Baby Group

Weekly group available for all care leavers and their children up to school age, held at Tarner Children Centre.  Tea, coffee and snacks available plus access to indoor and outdoor activities

Bright PiP

Offer of 1:1 support from psychologist to support care leavers becoming and being parents with children up to age of 3

Psychologist from the charity attends our Parent and Baby group every 3 weeks to meet parents in group setting

We are currently developing workshops both in person and online to reach a wider audience

This page is correct as printed on Friday 24th of May 2024 04:41:03 PM please refer back to this website (http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk) for updates.