Children, young people and families using social work services in four UK cohort studies
There are rich data on family circumstances in the major UK cohort studies following individuals and households over time. These studies include some limited data on contact with social workers, but no use has been made of this information to date. This project will use four different studies, spanning two decades and children of different ages, to study patterns, outcomes and changes associated with social work contact.
The studies are the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, the Millennium Cohort Study, The Longitudinal Study of Young People in England and the British Household Panel Study. Collectively these four allow unique potential for examining comparative outcomes for children who have contact with a social worker, without retrospective bias and over a longer period of time than ever previously studied.
The outcomes examined will include well-being over time and the occurrence or absence of any subsequent reports of abuse, neglect or entry to care. The researchers are also interested in how the use of social workers changes as children grow older and as their policy shifts. They will compare the children, young people and families who have social work contact both with the general population and with others who have similar (or worse) difficulties but without social work contact, to see what makes the social work group and their outcomes distinctive. Given current policy emphasis on multi-professional and 'early intervention', they will also compare those with similar problems who have social workers with those who do not but have contact with other professionals.
Professor Jonathan Scourfield, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
Children and Families
Grant amount and dates
October 2013 - March 2015
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