The mental health of all children in contact with social services: Young person's version of a research paper
This study - summarised by Rhianna Brown, Research & Communications Intern at Administrative Data Research Centre Northern Ireland (ADRC NI) - looks at the mental health of all children (aged 17 years or less) in Northern Ireland (NI) and their contact with social services.
Contact with social services was grouped into:
- No contact
- Referred but decided no services were needed
- Received services at home
- Placed in care.
What did the study do?
This study used anonymous data from health services and social services (called administrative data) to find out how many children in NI experience mental ill-health. It compared the mental health of children in contact with social services with those never in contact. It looked at prescribed medication to treat mental ill-health, hospitalisation for a mental health reason, and hospital presenting self-harm or thoughts of self-harm.
What did the study find?
- 1 in 6 children in NI have contact with social services
- 49.5% of children with mental ill-health in NI were previously or currently known to social services
- Children in care were 52 times more likely to present to hospital with self-harm or thoughts of self-harm
- Antidepressant prescribing levels were 18 times higher among children in care.
Read the publication to find out the key takeaways from this study.