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Identifying and understanding inequalities in child welfare intervention rates: comparative studies in four UK countries. Single country quantitative study report: Wales

Authors:
ELLIOTT Martin, SCOURFIELD Jonathan
Publisher:
Cardiff University
Publication year:
2017
Pagination:
31
Place of publication:
Cardiff

This report highlights the link between social inequality and child welfare interventions. It draws on an analysis of routine administrative data from Welsh local authorities on the children on child protection registers and in care (looked after) on 31 March 2015. Findings include: there is a clear social gradient whereby for every level of deprivation the rates of children on child protection registers and looked-after by local authorities increase – this gradient is steeper in Wales than in the other three UK nations; there is no statistically significant difference between boys and girls in terms of child protection registration rates at each level of deprivation; when comparing age groups, there is an opposite pattern for child protection registration and looked-after children, with younger children more likely to be on child protection registers and a larger proportion of older children being looked after; the highest rate of both child protection and looked-after children is in mixed ethnicity children; neglect, physical abuse and emotional abuse are the main reasons for being on the child protection register; there was a clear social gradient for all the categories of child protection measures, preparation for adoption, voluntary accommodation and youth justice; in Wales there is no statistical evidence of an inverse intervention effect, where at any given level of deprivation more intervention takes place in local authorities which are less deprived overall; while in England there was a clear reduction in spending per child on children’s services between 2010-11 and 2014-15, in Wales there was an increase over this same period – as expected, local authorities which are more deprived overall spent more on children’s services. (Edited publisher abstract)

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Use of the Court of Protection's welfare jurisdiction by supervisory bodies in England and Wales

Authors:
SERIES Lucy, et al
Publisher:
Cardiff University
Publication year:
2015
Pagination:
27
Place of publication:
Cardiff

This report presents information from local authorities about their involvement in Court of Protection (CoP) welfare cases during 2013-14, the nature of the cases, how long these cases lasted for and how much they cost local authorities. A total of 82 per cent of public authorities responded to a freedom of information request and provided information about their involvement in welfare cases for analysis. The results found: variations in the number cases between individual local authorities that could not be explained by population size alone; there were much lower rates of use of the CoP's welfare jurisdiction in Wales than in England; half of all completed cases reported lasted nine months or longer; and half of all ongoing cases lasted twelve months or longer; and that half of all cases reported in the study were estimated to have cost local authorities £8,881 or more, with the greatest cost for local authorities being the time of in-house legal staff. The report highlights the need to investigate the reasons for the high cost and lengthy duration of CoP proceedings (Edited publisher abstract)

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The participation of P in welfare cases in the Court of Protection

Authors:
SERIES Lucy, FENNELL Phil, DOUGHTY Julie
Publisher:
Cardiff University
Publication year:
2017
Pagination:
190
Place of publication:
Cardiff

This report considers how effectively the person who is alleged to lack mental capacity can participate in Court of Protection (CoP) proceedings which are about their health, welfare or deprivation of liberty. It considers in depth what a ‘human rights model of participation’ looks like and identifies three essential principles of a human rights-based approach to participation: the dignity principle, the evidential principle, and the adversarial principle. Key features to promote participation in the Court of Protection are then assessed against this model. These cover: access to a court; evidence and information before the Court; representation in proceedings; attending court; special measures and reasonable adjustments, such as funding for intermediaries to assist with putting questions during a hearing; and training of judges and representatives. It then looks at the same issues for the Mental Health Tribunals in England and Wales, to see whether this offers a better approach. It finds that several aspects of the CoP model for participation are not working because the system was established on a model of ‘low participation’ that is no longer compatible with developments in international human rights law under the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To increase levels of participation, it concludes that there needs to be revisions to the rules and practice directions, increased resources for various elements of participation, and by looking at when and how cases should come to the CoP. The report makes 20 recommendations for improvements. (Edited publisher abstract)

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Development of the Priority Perpetrator Identification Tool (PPIT) for domestic abuse

Authors:
ROBINSON Amanda, CLANCY Anna
Publisher:
Cardiff University
Publication year:
2015
Pagination:
53
Place of publication:
Cardiff

Previous research into serial domestic abuse indicates the importance of shared multi-agency understanding when it comes to identification of and responses to the most serious forms of domestic abuse. This report documents the process undertaken to develop the Priority Perpetrator Identification Tool (PPIT), which aimed to provide a more robust identification and referral pathway for priority domestic abuse perpetrators in Wales. The tool incorporates serial, repeat and high-risk offending into a single tool with input and agreement across relevant agencies of the Police, Criminal Justice and Third Sector. The report summarises the results and implications of the consultation for the development of the PPIT as part of a new multi-agency response to priority perpetrators of domestic abuse, and provides some recommendations for policymakers, practitioners and future research. Based on the evidence collected from the consultation (n=15 participants in the stage one stakeholder event and n=25 participants in the stage two online survey), there was a high level of support amongst both operational and strategic agency representatives (from a range of agencies in Wales and elsewhere in the UK), for a tool to assist with the identification of those committing the most serious and harmful forms of domestic abuse. The majority of respondents felt that the ten items in the PPIT captured the most important aspects to consider, and the brief guidance accompanying the tool was largely fit-for-purpose. Despite the complexities of what is involved, the majority view is favourable to implementing the PPIT. The PPIT is envisioned as an instrument to be used to trigger an intervention, rather than an intervention itself, and aims to support the identification of a commonly recognised priority cohort of individuals which will be the focus of the collective efforts all partners. To maximise its efficacy and potential to be a reliable and useful tool for frontline use across a range of agencies, further testing of the PPIT is recommended. Further research is also needed to assess the range of policy and practice implications likely to result from the implementation of the PPIT (Edited publisher abstract)

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Motivating respect: a Welsh intervention into youth-perpetrated domestic abuse

Authors:
PAYTON Joanne, ROBINSON Amanda
Publisher:
Cardiff University
Publication year:
2015
Pagination:
46
Place of publication:
Cardiff

This report tackles the emerging issue of domestic abuse perpetrated by adolescents, explored through the experiences of Gwent Domestic Abuse Service (GDAS), a charity founded in 2003, providing support to both the perpetrators and victims of domestic abuse, delivered with a whole family approach. Domestic violence perpetrated by people under the age of 18 is an emerging problem, with violence and abuse directed towards parents and carers being a particularly prevalent, although violence against partners/ex-partners, siblings and peers are also found in Wales and may be under-recognised. The report looks at understanding youth-perpetrated domestic violence, reports on findings from a survey of 27 Welsh practitioners working with young people on their experience of youth-perpetrated domestic violence, and then discusses interventions used at GDAS. A selective review of five case studies is also conducted to show the effect of the intervention and highlight the interactions between practitioners their clients. GDAS’s pilot targeting young people is innovative, based on one-to-one encounters primarily using the techniques of Motivational Interviewing. These techniques allow for pro-active and tailored approach to young people’s behavioural issues. The report concludes that although labour-intensive, the one-to-one approach at GDAS is effective in dealing with and proactively reaching very challenging clients and offers extrinsic benefits of liaison and risk assessment and monitoring. (Edited publisher abstract)

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How to achieve more effective services: the evidence ecosystem

Author:
SHEPHERD Jonathan
Publisher:
Cardiff University
Publication year:
2014
Pagination:
55
Place of publication:
Cardiff

An evaluation of the What Works initiative, a network of independent centres whose role is to gather, synthesise and disseminate evidence on the effectiveness of interventions in key policy areas, including health and social care, education attainment, ageing better, local economic growth, crime reduction and early intervention. Using the analogy of the supply chain borrowed from the petrochemical industry, the study outlines key aspects of the evidence ecosystem in which the centres operate, including evidence flow, demand pulls, transmission lines, usability, waste and incentives. Drawing on a literature review, the report identifies interventions most likely to improve the implementation of evidence in policy making and delivery and outlines the characteristics of evidence ecosystems that contribute most to their effectiveness and efficiency. The study then presents the findings from fifty-five semi-structured interviews with a structured sample of personnel in each What Works sector, reflecting on evidence sources, transmission lines, problems and incentives across sectors. It concludes with the presentation of a generic form of the evidence ecosystem followed by a list of generic recommendations, addressing issues across all What Works sectors and focusing on evidence creation, translation and implementation. The ecosystem adapted for each What Works sector is then presented followed by lists of recommendations for each sector. (Original abstract)

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The provision and experience of adoption support services in Wales: perspectives from adoption agencies and adoptive parents

Authors:
OTTAWAY Heather, HOLLAND Sally, MAXWELL Nina
Publisher:
Cardiff University
Publication year:
2014
Pagination:
127
Place of publication:
Cardiff

This is a report of a research study on the current structure and provision of adoption support services throughout Wales. It explores the views of local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies regarding the availability and effectiveness of adoption support services, and how adoptive families’ support needs can be appropriately met through the new National Adoption Service Framework. It also examines adoptive families’ current experiences of assessment and provision of adoption support services in Wales, and their views about how their needs can most appropriately be met. The report draws on the findings of an online survey and follow-up telephone interviews with adoption agencies and an online survey of adoptive families. The report makes a series of recommendations, including increasing access to and provision of specialist training for all social workers involved in the adoption of children; considering the development of dedicated adoption support teams in each region and streamlining the adoption request process across the regions; increasing the visibility of information about adoption support services; reviewing the framework for the assessment of adoption support needs; implementing a consistent approach for reviewing adoption support plans across the regions; improving data collection; considering the development of a specialist multi-disciplinary service in Wales for children with complex multi-dimensional needs; and increasing investment in the services and further developing the role of the voluntary sector. (Edited publisher abstract)

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Outcomes in family group conferences for children on the brink of care: a study of child and family participation

Authors:
HOLLAND Sally, et al
Publisher:
Cardiff University
Publication year:
2003
Pagination:
86p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
Cardiff

This research comprises a largely qualitative study of Family Group Conferences (FGCs). The research setting is an independent NCH Cymru project in South Wales, that provides FGCs for three local authorities for children looked after or who are at risk of being looked after. Family Group Conferences (FGCs) have been adapted from Maori traditions in New Zealand. They are an innovative method of making decisions regarding children and young people. Facilitated meetings of extended family members are held, which include the child. FGCs have been found to provide creative solutions to family difficulties. This research focuses particularly on the role of the child in the meeting, but also presents findings on the general process of such meetings. 25 children were interviewed from 17 FGCs. Follow-up qualitative interviews are conducted at 6 months. Baseline data were collected shortly after the FGC and at 6 months followup. There are a total of 38 qualitative interviews with children. In addition, 31 adult family member interviews and 27 professional interviews were carried out within a month of each FGC.

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Residential care in Wales: the characteristics of children and young people placed in residential settings

Authors:
ELLIOTT Martin, STAPLES Eleanor, SCOURFIELD Jonathan
Publishers:
Cardiff University, Care Council for Wales
Publication year:
2016
Pagination:
42
Place of publication:
Cardiff

Drawing on an analysis data submitted by local authorities from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2014, this report identifies common characteristics of looked after children and young people in Wales. This includes children and young people in children's homes, residential care homes, Young Offenders Institutions, mother and baby units, and residential schools. The report also draws on a literature review carried out to identify studies describing the residential child care population in UK. The analysis of the data is discussed in four areas: children or young people ceasing to be ‘looked after’; children and young people starting to be ‘looked after’ ; and children moving from a family placement to a residential setting whilst in care; and children moving from residential care to a family placement. For each area the analysis includes discussion of: placement type, legal status, age, and categories need. Key findings include: that the majority of children and young people placed in residential settings were ‘looked after’ as a result of having been accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989; boys represent the largest proportion of residents for the majority of settings; children and young people whose main need stems from abuse or neglect make up the largest proportion of those placed in residential care; and that the residential care population in both Wales and England appears to consist predominantly of teenagers. The report was commissioned by the Care Council for Wales to inform the development of their workforce strategy. (Edited publisher abstract)

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Health, health behaviours health promoting services for care leavers: perspectives of young people and LAC nurses

Authors:
MORGAN-TRIMMER Sarah, SPOONER Suzanne, AUDREY Suzanne
Publisher:
Cardiff University. School of Social Sciences
Publication year:
2015
Pagination:
5
Place of publication:
Cardiff

Looked after children and adults with a prior history of being looked after tend to have poorer health and social outcomes, even when compared to populations with similar socioeconomic backgrounds. To investigate how looked after children view their own health, interviews were carried out with 16 young care leavers in south Wales. Focus group were also carried out with 14 looked after children’s (LAC) nurses. Young people identified emotional well-being as a primary health concern, with most interviewees having experience of mental health problems, stress and social isolation. A healthy diet, weight were all seen to contribute to good health and excessive alcohol consumption recognised as having detrimental effect. LAC nurses found that their work priorities were usually emotional and social care issues. The also felt that the area of emotional and mental health was one which could be improved and that those working directly with looked after children, such as carers, teachers, social workers would benefit from training and support from mental health professions. Barriers to services identified by LAC nurses included residential instability, long waiting lists, difficulties in transitioning to adult mental health services and the reluctance of some young people to engage in services. (Edited publisher abstract)

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