Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Comparing local authority rates of children in care: A survey of the children’s social care workforce in Wales

Wood, Sophie ORCID: and Forrester, Donald ORCID: 2023. Comparing local authority rates of children in care: A survey of the children’s social care workforce in Wales. The British Journal of Social Work 53 (6) , pp. 3089-3109. 10.1093/bjsw/bcad097

[thumbnail of bcad097-1.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (318kB) | Preview


The rate of children in care in Wales is one of the highest in the world and has increased considerably in the past two decades. Whilst many factors may be driving these increases, there is considerable variation between local authorities. This article presents findings from a survey completed by children’s social care workers in Wales (n = 792). It compares the views, values and responses to case study vignettes of workers in authorities with increasing to those with decreasing care rates over five years (2016–2020). Statistically significant differences were found relating to the values and the practices of workers, with workers in local authorities with reducing rates having stronger pro-family values, less risk averse responses to case vignettes, more confidence in the decisions made in their local authority and being more positive about support for practice. The findings indicate that variations in local authority values and practices may influence the rate of children in care and that some with significant social problems seem able to avoid the large numbers of children in care found in other authorities. The challenge faced in Wales and the UK is how local authorities can learn from one another to ensure consistency and quality in services.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE)
Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1468-263X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 17 January 2023
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 18:14

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics