17th October 2018

A Crying Shame

Babies are entirely reliant on their parents to keep them safe and happy. When they are born into families where they might be harmed or neglected, the risk to them is greater than to older children.

They are fragile, they cannot speak, and unlike older children, they may not attend any universal services such as education, where adults outside the family have a chance to see them. Hence, despite their increased vulnerability, they can be invisible to professionals. We know that babies are disproportionately represented in Serious Case Reviews, and instances of death and serious injuries to babies and young children rightly shock the country.

This report looks at how many babies might be vulnerable in this way and presents the facts about the sort of risks even very young children are being exposed to. Much of the data is missing; however, we are publishing the best estimates we can give of the numbers of babies living in high-risk households.

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