Understanding care pathways and placement stability for infants in Wales with Dr Laura Cowley from Population Data Science, Swansea University on 4 October 12:30-14:00.

Presenter: Dr Laura Cowley,
Swansea University

Time: 12:30 – 14:00

Date: 04/10/23

Location: ZOOM, Online

This presentation provides new empirical evidence about entry routes to care, pathways through care, and placement outcomes for the very youngest children in the care system in Wales. By addressing questions about voluntary and compulsory routes into care, it speaks directly to questions raised in the final report from the Public Law Working Group (2021), established by the President of the Family Division, regarding trends in the use of voluntary accommodation for babies. There are on-going questions about the respective merits and ethics of voluntary and compulsory routes into care, but evidence about the actual usage of different legal options has been limited. Moreover, evidence has been decidedly limited about pathways and outcomes beyond different entry routes to care.

The team used population-level data, routinely collected by local authorities and which forms the Welsh Government’s Children Looked After (CLA) Census, to understand infants’ care experience and outcomes. This project is the first to use this census to produce robust, descriptive findings about infant entry to care in Wales. Findings about infant entry to care are presented at national, regional (court circuit) and local authority levels, using child-level records which span a period of 18 years.

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