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Born into care: Associations between Area-level Deprivation and the Rates of Children Entering Care Proceedings in Wales

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
Article number106595
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/10/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Children and Youth Services Review
Volume141
Number of pages9
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date15/07/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

There is international concern about rising rates of children entering out-of-home care and what might be done to reduce the need for compulsory intervention in family life. Previous studies have analysed the associations with family-level variables, such as a presence of domestic abuse, parental mental health problems, and substance misuse in the parental household. Other studies have looked at multiple area-deprivation as a predictor of childhood adversity, but there is a dearth of research which disentangle the associations between the rates of children in care and different forms of deprivation. This paper sheds light the statistical associations between different area-deprivation domains and the rates of infants and older children involved in care proceedings in local authorities in Wales, UK, between 2014 and 2019. Data on family court proceedings in Wales from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass Cymru), held within the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank, was linked to information on area-deprivation and incidence rates were computed. Employment deprivation, income, educational and health deprivation are associated with increased incidence rates. Environmental factors such as the physical, housing and access to services domain were not found to be statistically related to the risk of care proceedings. The paper advances knowledge about the wider policy context regarding how to improve the social wellbeing of children in local communities.