Adversity profiles of children receiving care and support from social services: A Latent-class analysis of school-aged children in Wales

Rebecca Anthony* (Corresponding Author), Jonathan Scourfield, Graham Moore, Shantini Paranjothy, Annette Evans, Sinead Brophy, Rhian Daniel, Sara Long

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Children receive care and support from social services due to risk of harm or impeded development, or because of disability. This study aimed to identify typologies of adversity experienced by children receiving care and support from social services, and to explore how typologies differ by sociodemographic characteristics.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of ‘Children Receiving Care and Support’ (N = 12,792) during 2017/18 in Wales, UK. We sought to: 1) examine the prevalence of household adversities experienced by children in receipt of care and support from social services; 2) identify typologies of household adversities; and 3) explore how typologies of household adversities differ by family characteristics (demographics, measures of social disadvantage, perinatal and care factors).
Results: We found evidence for multiple risk factor constellations. The 4-class solution suggested four distinct classes of adversities: child disability (50.0%), low adversities (20.3%), family poor health (6.7%), and multiple risks (23.0%). Children in the ‘multiple risk’ class were significantly more likely to be younger, more deprived and be ‘looked after’ by the local authority compared to those in the ‘low adversities’ class.
Conclusions: Given the presence of different constellations of household adversities, policies and interventions which address multiple risk factors simultaneously may be more effective and have longer-lasting benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-897
Number of pages8
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number5
Early online date31 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, grant number 513423.

Data Availability Statement

All data are available through the SAIL gateway (


  • care
  • child welfare
  • adverse
  • Childhood experiences
  • latent class analysis
  • social services


Dive into the research topics of 'Adversity profiles of children receiving care and support from social services: A Latent-class analysis of school-aged children in Wales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this