The Nuffield Foundation awarded a research grant of £557,705 to the Centre for Communities and Social Justice at Coventry University to study ‘Inequalities in Child Welfare Intervention Rates in the four UK countries’. The two year project, led by Professor Paul Bywaters and Dr. Geraldine Brady, involved a partnership of seven Universities: the Open University (Prof. Featherstone) and the Universities of Sheffield (Prof. Morris), Stirling (Prof. Daniel), Edinburgh (Ms. McGhee), Queen’s, Belfast (Dr. Bunting), and Cardiff (Prof. Scourfield).
The Child Welfare Inequalities Project Wales Country Report tackles the relationship between deprivation and child protection. It shows that children are far more likely to be on child protection registers and come into care in the most deprived areas in Wales. There is a social gradient, with increasing intervention with every level of deprivation. This is broadly in keeping with trends in the other UK nations, but the social gradient is steepest in Wales. There is also variation in rates of child protection and children looked-after by ethnicity category. The report argues that child welfare inequalities should not be taken for granted, but that preventing them should be as high a priority as preventing inequalities in health or education.