username

password

Coram Chambers1 CORFamily Law Week Email Subscriptionimage of 4 Paper Buildings logoAlpha BiolabsHarcourt Chamberssite by Zehuti

Home > News

CoramBAAF welcomes report on child protection practice with Romani and Traveller children

‘Romani and Traveller children three times more likely to be taken into care’ than other children

CoramBAAF has welcomed a report published this month by the European Roma Rights Centre (2018) entitled The fragility of professional competence which explores child protection practice with Romani and Traveller children in England.

The report finds that Romani and Traveller children in England are much more likely to be taken into state care than the majority population, and the numbers are rising. Between 2009 and 2016 the number of Irish Travellers in care has risen by 400% and the number of Romani children has risen by 933%. The increases are not consistent with national trends, and when compared to population data, suggest that Romani and Traveller children living in the UK could be three times more likely to be taken into care than any other child.

The research, carried out by Daniel Allen and Sarah Riding in cooperation with the ERRC and the University of Salford, finds that stereotypical views held by some care professionals are leading to oppressive and coercive practices relating to placement of Romani and Traveller children in state care.

Serious case reviews are quoted in the Report to explore some of the discrimination experienced by Romani and Traveller families in child protection contexts, characterised by the words used in one case; 'it's in their culture'.  The report states that 59% of the child protection social workers they surveyed thought that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children were more at risk of harm than other children, mainly because of 'family culture'.

Paul Adams, Fostering Development Consultant at Coram BAAF, states:

"The report raises some difficult issues and challenges for services, social workers and other professionals in both child protection and fostering.  The need 'to do better' could not be a stronger message."

He notes that in 2013 BAAF (now CoramBAAF) published a good practice guide on Social Work with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and the organisation continues to explore how best to influence practice in the fostering sector.

For the report, click here. For Coram BAAF's response to it, click here.

23/2/18