Contraception scheme for women to be expanded

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A scheme which gives contraception to women at risk of having their children taken into care will be expanded following a cash injection from the Government.

The Pause programme, which already runs centres in Doncaster, Greenwich, Hull, Islington, Newham and Southwark, supports vulnerable women who are at risk of having repeat pregnancies, on the condition they use long-acting reversible contraception such as the implant during the 18-month programme.

The organisation now intends to launch new practices in areas including Barking and Dagenham, Bristol and Cumbria, after being awarded £6.8 million from the Department for Education.

Sophie Humphreys, chief executive of Pause, said the project gives women 'a really clear space which doesn't get sabotaged by another pregnancy'.

She said: "This is pause, not stop. It's about breaking a destructive cycle that causes deep trauma for both the women and their children."

In September, analysis of Government figures by the Justice For Families campaign group suggested the number of babies being taken into care had risen from 1,180 in 1995 to 2,740 in 2015.

Lesley Redpath, a Pause caseworker, said very few women were put off by the contraceptive stipulation.

She said: "I'm talking about women who don't know how to get up and have a wash because they've never been shown how to look after themselves.

"They've never been shown how to cut their own toenails. I'm talking about very basic self-care. And these are people who've had children.

"The women that we've worked with have slipped through all the netting."

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: "This Government wants a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

"Just as we need a world-class education system that works for everyone, so too we need a world-class children's social care system that ensures the best start possible for every child."

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