IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Born into care: Associations between area-level deprivation and the rates of children entering care proceedings in Wales


  • Doebler, Stefanie
  • Broadhurst, Karen
  • Alrouh, Bachar
  • Cusworth, Linda
  • Griffiths, Lucy


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 ofdomestic abuse, parental mental health problems, andsubstance 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 proceedingsin 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Doebler, Stefanie & Broadhurst, Karen & Alrouh, Bachar & Cusworth, Linda & Griffiths, Lucy, 2022. "Born into care: Associations between area-level deprivation and the rates of children entering care proceedings in Wales," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:141:y:2022:i:c:s0190740922002316
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106595

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bilson, Andy & Bywaters, Paul, 2020. "Born into care: Evidence of a failed state," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    2. Lawlor, D.A. & Smith, G.D. & Patel, R. & Ebrahim, S., 2005. "Life-course socioeconomic position, area deprivation, and coronary heart disease: Findings from the British women's heart and health study," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 95(1), pages 91-97.
    3. Lars Brännström & Yerko Rojas, 2012. "Rethinking the Long-Term Consequences of Growing Up in a Disadvantaged Neighbourhood: Lessons from Sweden," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(6), pages 729-747.
    4. Brandon, Marian, 2009. "Child fatality or serious injury through maltreatment: Making sense of outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1107-1112, October.
    5. Shook, Kristen, 1999. "Does the loss of welfare income increase the risk of involvement with the child welfare system?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(9-10), pages 781-814.
    6. Bécares, Laia & Nazroo, James & Albor, Christo & Chandola, Tarani & Stafford, Mai, 2012. "Examining the differential association between self-rated health and area deprivation among white British and ethnic minority people in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(4), pages 616-624.
    7. Shuey, Elizabeth A. & Leventhal, Tama, 2017. "Pathways of risk and resilience between neighborhood socioeconomic conditions and parenting," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 52-59.
    8. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Robert Joyce & Xiaowei Xu, 2020. "COVID‐19 and Inequalities," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(2), pages 291-319, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Wood, S. & Scourfield, J. & Stabler, L. & Addis, S. & Wilkins, D. & Forrester, D. & Brand, S.L., 2022. "How might changes to family income affect the likelihood of children being in out-of-home care? Evidence from a realist and qualitative rapid evidence assessment of interventions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    2. Simon, James David & D'Andrade, Amy & Hsu, Hsun-Ta, 2021. "The intersection of child welfare services and public assistance: An analysis of dual-system involvement and successful family preservation completion on a maltreatment re-report," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    3. Bryan, Mark & Bryce, Andrew & Rice, Nigel & Roberts, Jennifer & Sechel, Cristina, 2022. "Exploring mental health disability gaps in the labour market: the UK experience during COVID-19," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    4. Daniel Béland & Alex Jingwei He & M Ramesh, 2022. "COVID-19, crisis responses, and public policies: from the persistence of inequalities to the importance of policy design [The impact of COVID-19 on gender equality]," Policy and Society, Darryl S. Jarvis and M. Ramesh, vol. 41(2), pages 187-198.
    5. Martin Klinthäll & Susanne Urban, 2016. "The strength of ethnic ties: Routes into the labour market in spaces of segregation," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 53(1), pages 3-16, January.
    6. Sabine Zinn & Michael Bayer, 2021. "Time Spent on School-Related Activities at Home during the Pandemic: A Longitudinal Analysis of Social Group Inequality among Secondary School Students," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1132, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Mishra, Sandeep & Carleton, R. Nicholas, 2015. "Subjective relative deprivation is associated with poorer physical and mental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 144-149.
    8. Hacıoğlu-Hoke, Sinem & Känzig, Diego R. & Surico, Paolo, 2021. "The distributional impact of the pandemic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    9. Maksim Belitski & Christina Guenther & Alexander S. Kritikos & Roy Thurik, 2022. "Economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurship and small businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 593-609, February.
    10. Renin Toms & Xiaoqi Feng & Darren J Mayne & Andrew Bonney, 2020. "Role of Area-Level Access to Primary Care on the Geographic Variation of Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Distribution: A Multilevel Analysis of the Adult Residents in the Illawarra—Shoalhaven Region of NS," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(12), pages 1-21, June.
    11. E. Sachini & K. Sioumalas-Christodoulou & C. Chrysomallidis & G. Siganos & N. Bouras & N. Karampekios, 2021. "COVID-19 enabled co-authoring networks: a country-case analysis," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(6), pages 5225-5244, June.
    12. Luhamaa, Katre & McEwan-Strand, Amy & Ruiken, Barbara & Skivenes, Marit & Wingens, Florian, 2021. "Services and support for mothers and newborn babies in vulnerable situations: A study of eight European jurisdictions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    13. Michiel Bijlsma & Carin Cruijsen & Jester Koldijk, 2022. "Determinants of Trust in Banks’ Payment Services During COVID: An Exploration Using Daily Data," De Economist, Springer, vol. 170(2), pages 231-256, May.
    14. Guido Neidhöfer & Nora Lustig & Mariano Tommasi, 2021. "Intergenerational transmission of lockdown consequences: prognosis of the longer-run persistence of COVID-19 in Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 19(3), pages 571-598, September.
    15. Ehrle, Jennifer & Andrews Scarcella, Cynthia & Geen, Robert, 2004. "Teaming up: collaboration between welfare and child welfare agencies since welfare reform," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 265-285, March.
    16. Wells, Kathleen & Guo, Shenyang, 2006. "Welfare reform and child welfare outcomes: A multiple-cohort study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 941-960, August.
    17. Berger, Lawrence M., 2004. "Income, family structure, and child maltreatment risk," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 725-748, August.
    18. Daniel Graeber & Alexander S. Kritikos & Johannes Seebauer, 2021. "COVID-19: a crisis of the female self-employed," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1141-1187, October.
    19. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Chakraborty, Shankha & Yu, Xiumei, 2021. "A rational-choice model of Covid-19 transmission with endogenous quarantining and two-sided prevention," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    20. Brzezinski, Michal, 2021. "The impact of past pandemics on economic and gender inequalities," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:141:y:2022:i:c:s0190740922002316. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.