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Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in child welfare services in England

Allen, Daniel and Hamnett, Victoria (2022) Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in child welfare services in England. The British Journal of Social Work, 00. pp. 1-19. ISSN 0045-3102

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Abstract

Over the last five decades, there has been a growing concern that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children are overrepresented in child welfare services in Europe. However, statistical data used to substantiate this concern often conflates ethnicity and nationality limiting our full understanding of the reported concern. This article provides a more comprehensive illustration of overrepresentation, advancing the quantitative study of this topic in England. Using a per capita division by population method, data obtained from the Department of Education was tested for disparity ratios across four key indicators. The analyses found that the recorded number of ‘Gypsy/ Roma’ and ‘Travellers of Irish Heritage’ in child welfare services in England has been growing at a disproportionate rate since 2011-12 to now demonstrate overrepresentation. The findings go beyond the concerns that have been raised to highlight a more specific need for remedial and restorative action. Implications are discussed for strategic responses to drive up data quality and further explore the details of the disparities that are found.

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