Study questions impact of social work on children with behavioural problems

Researchers compared outcomes data between children who had social services intervention and those who did not

Children with behavioural problems who have contact with social services do not see gains in mental health outcomes and have worse educational outcomes than their peers.

Researchers at Cardiff University compared existing outcomes data for around 15,000 children with behavioural problems who had social services contact against outcomes for children with no social services. 

The full research findings are yet to be published but Professor Jonathan Scourfield, social work academic at Cardiff University, presented key themes from the study at the Joint Social Work Education Conference.

Scourfield acknowledged the limitations of the study – pointing out that the publicly available data it drew on only included one question about social services involvement and there was no additional information available to determine the nature of the contact.

After his session, Scourfield spoke to Community Care about his research findings.

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