Breastfeeding, social work and the rights of infants who have been removed



Critchley A, Grant A, Brown A & Morriss L (2022) Breastfeeding, social work and the rights of infants who have been removed. Qualitative Social Work, 21 (1), pp. 3-14. https://doi.org/10.1177/14733250211069410

First paragraph: In this Editorial, the authors explore the complexities of social work’s relationship with breastfeeding. As described in detail below, significant increases in the removal of newborn babies from their families of origin have been reported in the UK context (Broadhurst et al., 2018; Raab et al., 2020). Similar trends in infant removal have been observed in international settings sharing the UK’s focus on the prevention of current or future harm to children (Marsh et al., 2017; O'Donnell et al., 2016). Proponents of the approach note that social work is taking a pro-active role in protecting newborn babies where there is risk in families. However, equally it can be stated that social work has become involved in a myriad of ethical, legal, and health-related questions around the lives of infants. Yet, many of these important questions have not been understood or asked by the profession, and far less are answered. One such question concerns the role of social work in promoting the long-term health and development of infants who are removed from parental care.

Breastfeeding; Child Protection; Rights of Infants

Qualitative Social Work: Volume 21, Issue 1

Publication date01/01/2022
Publication date online21/12/2021
Date accepted by journal21/12/2021

People (1)


Dr Ariane Critchley

Dr Ariane Critchley

Lecturer in Social Work Child Protection, Social Work