Predictors of interaction with children’s social services and health and socio-economic outcomes in adulthood: a longitudinal record-linkage study


Improving outcomes for children known to social services (including those in care and those receiving in-home support or child protection measures) is a key policy priority. Prior research suggests care experienced children have worse adult outcomes compared to peers across numerous domains including health, education, and employment. However, the majority of research is based outside the UK, uses small samples, and excludes children known to social services but never in care. Improved understanding of both the predictors and the long-term outcomes of childhood interaction with social services is needed to inform targeted prevention and support programs.


  1. To determine the individual, family, household and area-level factors associated with becoming a child known to social services
  2. To determine the association between childhood exposure to social services and adult socio-economic and health outcomes


This record-linkage project will utilise 30 years of de-identified social services data from Social Services Client Administration and Retrieval Environment (SOSCARE), death records and area-level indicators linked to the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS).

Research Team: Aideen Maguire, Sarah McKenna, Nicole Gleghorne, Dermot O’Reilly
Database: NILS
Project Status: Active
Organisation(s): Queen’s University Belfast