The Children in Need dataset and the Children Receiving Care and Support dataset are available to authorised researchers within the secure research platform at the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank, based at Swansea University. These datasets include information relating to needs of children and young people and their social care support.

A new open access data resource article, ‘Data Resource: Children Receiving Care and Support and Children in Need, administrative records in Wales’ by Lee et al, has been published in the International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS). It provides an overview of these data, including their content, structure, and characteristics. It describes the differences between the datasets, and it reports on two sets of exploratory data linkage exercises by linking the records for individuals from the two datasets with electronic health records, and with records describing care proceedings.

By linking children’s social care data to other forms of administrative data, researchers can now begin to build a more detailed picture of the journey and experiences of vulnerable children and young people. They will be able to provide a greater understanding of the long-term implications of adverse childhood experiences and contact with social services, and the effects this can have on health and education. In addition, linkage of social care and family justice data can provide insight into the long-term experiences of children who have contact with both systems.

Dr Lucy Griffiths, Senior Lecturer at Swansea University Medical School and named author on the article commented on the significance of this new resource: “The children’s social care datasets received from the data science unit in Welsh Government have huge research potential, with findings of relevance to practitioners and other decision makers across the children’s social care sector. Ultimately, the goal is to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. We hope that this data resource paper will provide those wishing to access the data with greater insight into what’s available and how it can be used.”

The IJPDS article was produced collaboratively by researchers from Population Data Science at Swansea University Medical School, CASCADE, the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University and ADR Wales.


Click here to read the full open access article

Dr Lucy Griffiths, Senior Lecturer, Swansea University Medical School

Lee, A., Elliott, M., Scourfield, J., Bedston, S., Broadhurst, K., Ford, D. and Griffiths, L. (2022) “ administrative records in Wales”., International Journal of Population Data Science, 7(1). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v7i1.1694.