These are some short answers to frequently asked questions. There is lots of detailed information about Pause, how it works and how it started, on pause.org.uk.
A multi-agency scoping report found that, between 2010 and 2015, 92 Bristol women have had a collective total of 304 children removed from their care (an average of at least three each). The 18 month pilot programme will give 20 of these women the opportunity to take a pause from the usual periods of chaos, anger and reaction to care proceedings and will create space for them to reflect, learn and aspire.
Pause aims to break the cycle of repeat removal by intervening at a point when the women have no children in their care and offers them a chance to take a pause from the usual periods of chaos, anger and reaction to care proceedings. Pause is different in that it does not define the women in relation to any one issue e.g. substance misuse or criminal justice issues, or to others, but instead helps them to focus on themselves with the purpose of supporting them to take control of their lives and to develop new skills and responses.
This was produced by Pause with Bristol City Council and published in February 2017. It is not available to view as it contains individuals’ confidential information.
The scoping report found that, without intervention, 20 ‘average’ women within the Bristol cohort would be likely to give birth to 15 children over an 18-month period. Based on average financial assumptions, the cost of placement and legal fees alone for these children is estimated at £574,196 over 18 months. (NB This figure is highly conservative; it does not include saved costs to the NHS, public health, housing, adult social care or other agencies.)
The Pause Bristol 18-month pilot has a planned cost of around £430,000 so it estimated that Pause Bristol could save the taxpayer more than £140,000 over 18 months.
Women working with the seven existing Pause programmes (Greenwich, Hackney, Hull, Islington, Newham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Southwark) saw the following improvements:
In November 2016, it was announced that the Department for Education had awarded Pause £6.8 million to increase its scale and spread nationally. New Pause Practices were planned for Barking and Dagenham, Bristol, Cumbria, Derby, NE Lincolnshire, Slough, St Helens, West Sussex and Wiltshire and there are plans to open 43 practices over the next 5 years.
The Pause Bristol 18-month pilot is estimated to cost around £430,000. Bristol City Council has match-funded the £215,000 which Pause allotted to the Bristol pilot from the Department for Education’s award.
One25 was chosen to host the Pause Bristol pilot programme because of its existing expertise; the issues affecting street sex-working women are identifiable with most of those affecting the 92 women identified in Bristol as having had multiple children removed from their care.