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April

Higher Risk of Psychiatric Disorders in children looked after by local authorities

APRIL 02, 2007

Dr Tamsin Ford at the Institute and fellow researchers have had a new report focusing on children looked after by local authorities who have higher levels of psychiatric disorder, educational difficulties and neuro-developmental disorders than disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged children living in private households.  The paper is published  in the April issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, and is the first nationally representative and random study of looked after children.

Ford and colleagues examined socio-demographic characteristics and psychological problems by type of placement of 1453 children looked after in England, Wales and Scotland by local authorities, and compared them with 10,428 deprived and non-deprived children living in private households.

Dr Tamsin Ford, Lead Researcher comments "Since psychological adjustment is more than the absence of a psychiatric disorder, it is important to note that even after excluding children with a psychiatric disorder, fewer than 1 in 10 children looked after by local authorities demonstrated particularly good psychological adjustment, compared with around 1 in 2 children living in private households.  Our findings underline the need for services to ensure that the emotional and behavioural difficulties of children looked after by local authorities are understood by professionals working with these children."
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