Research and analysis

Infants suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm: a prospective longitudinal study

Study exploring the development of young children who were identified as suffering, or likely to suffer, harm before their first birthdays.


Decisions made by practitioners to protect and promote the welfare of infants suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm are extremely difficult and will have long-term consequences for their life chances. It is therefore important to know how such decisions are made and whether they can be improved.

The study took place in 10 local authorities and focused on a sample of 57 children who were the subject of a core assessment, section 47 enquiry or became looked after before their first birthdays.

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