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Webinar: New research on ethnic disparities in care proceedings

During this webinar, new research findings on the ethnicity of children in care and supervision proceedings in England will be presented and discussed.

There is growing recognition that deep inequalities exist in children’s social care. It is crucial for practitioners and policymakers working in this area to understand the factors that shape these inequalities if progress is to be made in addressing them. Yet the evidence base is limited, with research on ethnic disparities within the family justice system remaining relatively scarce.

To help raise awareness of the issues, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory recently published a briefing paper on the ethnicity of children in care and supervision proceedings in England, based on new research carried out in collaboration with the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University.

Using population-level data from Cafcass England, the study examined differences in the demographic characteristics of children from different ethnic groups who appeared in care proceedings for the first time between 2016/17 and 2021/22. It also analysed the legal outcomes for the children; how long it took to get to a final order; where the children were living; and whether their parents returned to court after the final order was made.

In this webinar, Dr Charlotte Edney, Researcher at Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, will present the findings and provide recommendations for future research. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, during which questions raised by the study will be explored, including those related to demographic variation, the types of legal orders made and the timescales involved; and the links between deprivation and ethnicity. Questions and comments from the audience will be welcomed and encouraged. Our panellists are:

• Bibi Badejo, Barrister, Four Brick Court
• His Honour Judge Bedford, Designated Family Judge for Sussex
• Dr Charlotte Edney, Researcher, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
• Millie Kerr, Anti-Racist Lead Practitioner, Brighton & Hove City Council

This webinar will be of particular interest to lawyers, judges, Cafcass officers and social workers.

Watch the webinar


  • Headshot of Lisa Harker.
    Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
  • Headshot of Charlotte Edney
    Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
  • Headshot of HHJ Bedford
    HHJ Robin Bedford
    Designated Family Judge for Sussex
  • Headshot of Bibi Badejo
    Bibi Badejo
    Four Brick Court
  • Headshot of Millie Kerr
    Millie Kerr
    Anti-Racist Lead Practitioner
    Brighton & Hove City Council