Looked-after children in Wales: An analysis of the backgrounds of children entering public care

The doctoral research around which this fellowship is centred explored the differences between local authorities in Wales in the rates at which they place children in out of home care, referred to as being a ‘looked after’.  The research is based on a detailed quantitative analysis of approx. 15,000 children who were ‘looked after’ in Wales in a six year period from 2008 to 2014.  The research identified differences in social work practice between local authorities and also highlighted the relationship between neighbourhood deprivation and rates of children in care. Whilst there have been similar studies undertaken in England, there have been no such studies undertaken in Wales and this has generated a great deal of interest in the study from those involved in both child welfare policy and practice.  The aims of the fellowship are: to disseminate the study’s findings to social workers, managers, policy makers and elected members with responsibility for child welfare across Wales and to engage them in discussions on the implications of them for policy and practice.  Dissemination of the findings will be through a range of routes including summary reports, blog posts, seminars and articles for sector specific publications.  The intention is also to share the findings with an academic audience, including those involved in educating student social workers, through the production of a number of peer-reviewed journal papers.

Dr Martin Elliott. October 2018 – September 2019. Funded by ESRC.