Longitudinal care histories of children in England: analysis of administrative data

26th November 2018 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Quantitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Louise McGrath-Lone, Department of Education

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room D

Being in out-of-home care or care-experienced is associated with poorer educational outcomes. However, many studies in this area are based on cross-sectional data, which cannot account for the complexity of care histories throughout childhood, or data collected through surveys and cohort studies, which are subject to participation and response biases.

In England, administrative data related to out-of-home care have been collected since 1992 through the Children Looked After (CLA) return. Using longitudinal CLA data for a large, representative sample of children born 1992-94 (N=19,848), I estimated the cumulative incidence of placement in out-of-home care during childhood, described variation in childhood care histories and identified latent classes of out-of-home care. I also explored the stability of care placements and exits from care using sequence analysis and Cox proportional hazards modelling. Finally, I described how the use of out-of-home care changed over time using data for children born between 1992 and 2012 (N=93,652). Findings from these longitudinal analyses of administrative social care data can refine our understanding of how out-of-home care is used as a social care intervention among children in England.