Children in public care in England: well-being, poverty and rights

N Biehal, G Rees

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers the well-being, poverty and rights of children and young people who are 'looked after' in public care in England, and situates the discussion of each of these issues in the context of the wider research on these topics. This group typically live in family foster care, but around one in ten of them live in residential children's homes. Due to their very troubled backgrounds before entering care, initial well-being may be low for many of these children. Their past adversities may also have repercussions for their ongoing well-being. Although substitute care may provide some compensation for past adversities, there are continuing concerns that public care may also compound these difficulties instead of compensating for them. Many of these children have experienced poverty within their families before entering care and there is concern that they are at particularly high risk of poverty after leaving care, in late adolescence. They are therefore highly vulnerable to a range of adversities prior to, during and after the time they are in care.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhy Care? Children's Rights and Child Poverty
EditorsW Vandenhole, J Vranken, K De Boyser
Place of PublicationAntwerp
Pagespp. 71-90
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978-94-000-0025-4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • social work issues
  • looked after children
  • child well-being
  • social exclusion, income, poverty
  • comparative research

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