Analysing Repeated Referrals to Children's Services in England: Research Report.
Carter, Jacqueline. Troncoso, Patricio.
Great Britain Department for Education.
University of Manchester.
Published: July 2017
Sponsoring Organization: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain).
This report presents the findings of a study that investigated the characteristics and factors underlying the propensity of children who have been referred to Children’s Services (CS) in England to have multiple referrals within a given time period. It focuses on the 498,867 children referred to CS during the financial year 2010-2011 and analyzes those who were re-referred during a 6-year follow-up period up to March 31, 2016. Findings indicate that that after 6 years, 55% of the children returned to the system at least once. This re-referral rate varied widely across local authorities, with a variance that accounted for 8% of the total variance. Considering the national average probability, baseline probabilities varied across local authorities between 7% and 63%. The analysis of a series of individual characteristics determined that an increased likelihood of re-referral was associated with younger children, females, children with disabilities, children initially stepped down as needing no further action, children referred initially for abuse or neglect, parental disability or illness, family in acute distress, family dysfunction, and socially unacceptable behavior. Meanwhile, at the area level, an increased likelihood of re-referral was found in local authorities with more than 10 children in need per social worker and a referral rate per 10,000 children above average (national median of 550). 13 figures, 11 tables, and 20 references.
England; foster children; child abuse; child neglect; risk factors; caseload; family characteristics; children with disabilities; mentally ill parents; reentry