Out of sight, out of mind: ethnic inequalities in child protection and out-of-home care intervention rates

Bywaters, P., Kwhali, J., Brady, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-3431-6543, Sparks, T. and Bos, E., 2017. Out of sight, out of mind: ethnic inequalities in child protection and out-of-home care intervention rates. British Journal of Social Work, 47 (7), pp. 1884-1902. ISSN 0045-3102

1281706_Brady.pdf - Post-print

Download (1MB) | Preview


This paper examines the interlocking roles of ethnicity and deprivation in producing inequities in the proportion of children who are subject to state child protection interventions. In contrast to the USA, ethnic inequities have had little attention in research or policy in the UK and across Europe, and administrative data are limited and methodologically weak. A study of over 10 per cent of all children on child protection plans or who were looked after in out-of-home care in England in March 2012 is reported. Children from ethnic minority categories were much more likely than 'White' children to be living in disadvantaged areas and this has to be taken into account when examining intervention rates. Controlling for deprivation and examining small subgroups of the broad ethnic categories radically alters the simple understanding that 'Black' children are overrepresented compared to White amongst children in out-of-home care, while 'Asian' children are underrepresented. While this study could not explain these patterns, it reinforces the importance of both socio-economic circumstances and ethnicity for understanding inequities in intervention rates. The evidence underlines the powerful moral and economic case for action to reduce inequities in powerful state interventions in family life, not only in England, but internationally.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Journal of Social Work
Creators: Bywaters, P., Kwhali, J., Brady, G., Sparks, T. and Bos, E.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: October 2017
Volume: 47
Number: 7
ISSN: 0045-3102
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 31 Jan 2020 11:51
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 16:46
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39146

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year