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Patterns of re-referral to social services: a study of 400 closed cases

Forrester, Donald 2007. Patterns of re-referral to social services: a study of 400 closed cases. Child & Family Social Work 12 (1) , pp. 11-21. 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2006.00445.x

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Abstract

The last 10 years have seen considerable government focus on effective initial assessment processes in the UK. This has been given added impetus by research that found that more than 97% of referrals are closed without allocation for long-term work. Yet there is little research on referrals that are closed and no British study of patterns of re-referral for such children. The current study looks at 400 consecutive referrals to three local authority Social Services Departments in London that were closed rather than being allocated for long-term work. It investigates how many children were re-referred in the 27 months after closure and identifies factors statistically associated with re-referrals. The study found that a third of closed cases were re-referred (36.5%), with most re-referrals happening relatively rapidly. A small proportion of families accounted for most re-referrals: 8.5% of families had 52% of subsequent referrals. There was very wide variation between local authorities in the number of referrals and re-referrals received. Other factors associated with increased likelihood of a re-referral were: previous referrals, neglect, parental capacity issues (particularly drug misuse) and parent/child relationship problems. The implications of the findings for practitioners, policy-makers and researchers are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: drug misuse; neglect; referral; re-referral; social services
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1356-7500
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/87885

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