Child welfare inequalities: new evidence, further questions

Paul Bywaters, Geraldine M. Brady, Tim Sparks, Elizabeth Bos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    44 Citations (Scopus)
    75 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Research internationally has identified large differences in rates of child safeguarding interventions, recently characterized as child welfare inequalities, markers of social inequalities in childhood with parallels to inequalities in health and education. This paper reports a Nuffield Foundation-funded study to examine the role of deprivation in explaining differences in key children's services interventions between and within local authorities (LAs). The study involved an analysis of descriptive data on over 10% of children on child protection plans or in out-of-home care in 14 English LAs at 31 March 2012. The data demonstrate very large inequalities in rates of child welfare interventions within and between LAs, systematically related to levels of deprivation. There is evidence of a gradient in child welfare inequalities across the whole of society. There also appears to be an equivalent of the inverse care law for health: For any given level of deprivation in local neighbourhoods, LAs with lower overall levels of deprivation were intervening more often. The findings raise fundamental questions for research, policy and practice including whether the allocation of children's service resources sufficiently recognize the impact of deprivation on demand and how we judge whether a safeguarding system is effective at the population level. Publisher statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bywaters, P. , Brady, G.M. , Sparks, T. and Bos, E. (2014) Child welfare inequalities: new evidence, further questions. Child & Family Social Work, volume 21, issue 3, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12154. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)369–380
    JournalChild & Family Social Work
    Volume21
    Issue number3
    Early online date8 May 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:
    Bywaters, P. , Brady, G.M. , Sparks, T. and Bos, E. (2014) Child welfare inequalities: new evidence, further questions. Child & Family Social Work, volume 21, issue 3, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12154. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving'.

    Keywords

    • child protection
    • child welfare
    • deprivation
    • health
    • inequality
    • looked-after children

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Child welfare inequalities: new evidence, further questions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Research Output

    • 44 Citations
    • 1 Article

    Poverty, inequality, child abuse and neglect: Changing the conversation across the UK in child protection?

    Featherstone, B., Morris, K., Daniel, B., Bywaters, P., Brady, G., Bunting, L., Mason, W. & Mirza, N., Feb 2019, In : Children and Youth Services Review. 97, p. 127-133 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 13 Citations (Scopus)
    103 Downloads (Pure)

    Cite this