Poor children ‘ten times more likely to be taken into care’
February 28, 2017 1 comment
Children who live in poor areas are a startling ten times more likely to be taken into care, according to new research.
Working with social research organisation the Nuffield Foundation, academics from English, Scottish and Welsh universities examined the life histories of more than 35,000 children who were either in the care system or who had been the subject of child protection plans drawn up by social workers.
They found a stark disparity between the rate of care interventions in wealthier and poorer areas. Approximately one in 60 children living in less prosperous regions were taken into care they report, while as few as one in 660 have the same experience in better-off areas.
The report notes:
“Children in Blackpool, Hull or Wolverhampton were many times more likely to be LAC [‘looked after children’] than children in Wokingham, or Windsor and Maidenhead.”
For every increase in deprivation of around 10 per cent, the researchers saw an approximate increase of 30 per cent in the number of children in the care system.
By contrast however, the research revealed that children who lived in the poorer parts of otherwise affluent areas were no less than 50 per cent more likely to be pulled into the care system than youngsters living in areas with an overall low income. The latter, the researchers suggest, tend to have more stretched child protection services and be proportionately more affected by funding cuts, making interventions paradoxically less likely.
The report authors write:
“Placing children on child protection plans or taking children into care are very powerful state actions. If these powers are carried out inconsistently or inequitably between children with different identities or backgrounds or from different places, important issues of social justice are raised.”
Read more here.
Photo by James Delaney via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence
February 28, 2017
Categories: Children in care