Skip to main content

What about poverty and inequality? Putting the ‘critical’ in critical analysis

Those who are removed are overwhelmingly economically and socially deprived. On March 31st 2012, a child living in Blackpool, England, was eight times more likely to be ‘looked after’ out of home – to be in the care system – than a child in Richmond upon Thames, an outer London borough (Bywater, 202 This inequality in childhood chances exemplifies a pattern of difference across all English local authority areas which is systematically related to deprivation. For years, researchers have noted that deprivation is the largest factor explaining major differences between local authorities in key aspects of child welfare, such as the proportion of children entering the care system (becoming ‘looked after children’ (LAC)) or being subject to a child protection plan (CPP) (Bywaters, 2013).