Outcomes of interventions for maltreated children: comparing support at home and admission to care

Maltreated children face severe disadvantage in childhood and are at risk of lifelong health inequalities. The toughest decision services have to make is whether to support them at home or take them into care. This follow-up study aims to identify which maltreated children are likely to benefit most from each type of intervention (support at home/entry to care). It draws on pre-existing data from social services records and from the Born in Bradford (BiB) study of child health (n=13,500, 60% of all children born 2007-2011).


All children born in Bradford 2007-11 and assessed as maltreated or at risk of significant harm. We will use pre-existing data from:

  • the BiB study (maternal health and social circumstances)
  • Social work records on all maltreated children born in Bradford (many will be in BiB cohort).


We will

  • Compare risk factors for children in the at home/in care groups (a) to each other and (b) to non-maltreated children in the BiB cohort (pre-existing data from BiB study and social work records)
  • Compare outcomes for maltreated children in the at home/in care groups at age 3-6 years (social work records, interviews with parents and foster carers, child assessment).


Re-abuse, health, development, emotional and behavioural difficulties, attachment, speech and reading development.

Research Team Expertise

Child health/mental health, social work, public health, early years education.


  • Existing data: we will only access anonymised data
  • Interviews: participants to be approached via social services.


Cover data linkage and analysis, primary data collection for 400 children, focus groups.