A NEW service, launched by the Welsh arm of a UK-wide children’s charity, will aim to provide support for woman at risk of having their children taken away from them.

Barnardo’s Cymru’s Reflect, funded by the Welsh Government and the five Gwent authorities, will provide one-to-one help for women who have already had a child or children taken into care.

The service will also give deliver intensive support that they need to improve their lives, with hopes it will reduce the emotional, social and financial costs of children being taken into care in the future.

It will help venerable women across Gwent to overcome their problems while building their confidence and self-esteem.

Those involved will be offered emotional support alongside practical help including contraceptive advice and access to housing, education and employment services.

Liz Baker, Barnardo’s Cymru’s assistant director for children’s services in South East Wales, said: “It’s about women understanding their past, overcoming the problems in their current lives and achieving a better future by transforming their lives.”

Sally Jenkins, head of Newport Children’s services said: “We see 12 to 18 children taken into care each year with similar numbers in other authorities.

“Some of those mothers have had three, four, five or more children taken off them.

“These women need intensive, holistic, long-term support to help them break the cycle.

“We are sure that the Reflect project will prove to be another excellent example of how partnership working can really make a difference to the lives of people in Newport,” she added.

Dr Louise Massey, from the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said research suggested a third of 16 to 19-year-olds who had a child removed would return to court at risk of losing another.

The doctor added that mothers who have babies taken away from them in quick succession can lead to long term depression and other mental health issues from which women may never fully recover.