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Using data analytics to understand child vulnerability


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Children’s service departments want to act preventatively, yet the datasets they hold lack information on the family context, making it hard to identify vulnerable children before they come into contact with care services. The Children's Commissioner's Office recently highlighted the importance of understanding the wider family context if vulnerable children are to be identified early.

View this webinar slide deck to see Policy in Practice, together with Haroon Chowdry, Head of Analysis, Children's Commissioner's Office, discuss how benefits data can give crucial information about the family contact, and how this can help with early identification.

We shared findings from our analysis of specific policy reforms, including Universal Credit, the benefit cap and the two child limit, and show what impact they will have on levels of child vulnerability.

View the slides to learn:

- Findings of analysis on that policy changes have had on child vulnerability
- How data analysis can identify children at risk of being at risk
- Practical actions local authorities can take to act preventatively

For more information visit, email or call 0330 088 9242.

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Using data analytics to understand child vulnerability

  1. 1. USING DATA ANALYTICS TO UNDERSTAND CHILD VULNERABILITY Early intervention and data linkage for childrens’ services Wed 17 April 2019 Policy in Practice webinar
  2. 2. HOUSEKEEPING ● Audio check ● Please ask questions ● Downloads available ● Polls and a survey ● Aim to finish by 11:30
  3. 3. AGENDA 1. Introduction to administrative data and child vulnerability 2. The CCO’s perspective 3. Policy in Practice’s research: method and findings 4. Audience Q&A 5. Next steps
  4. 4. TODAY’S SPEAKERS Dr Ben Fell Senior Analyst Policy in Practice Haroon Chowdry Head of Analysis Children's Commissioner's Office Deven Ghelani Director Policy in Practice
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Over to Deven
  7. 7. Poll: How important is a preventative approach in your local authority?
  8. 8. THE CHILDREN AT RISK OF BEING AT RISK There are 1.6m children from low income families 390,000 are recorded through referral to care services There’s currently very little useful data to support early intervention for the 1,200,000 at risk of being referred to Children’s Services
  9. 9. Children’s Services capture information on vulnerable children’ interaction with statutory services Two main datasets: 1. The Children in Need Census 2. The Children Looked After SSDA903 return No data is systematically collected about family context WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT VULNERABLE CHILDREN
  12. 12. Poll: What data does your authority use to identify people at risk?
  13. 13. Over to Haroon
  14. 14. ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONER Anne Longfield OBE ● Independent role established to protect and promote the rights and views of children ● Special responsibility for rights of: ○ Children in care ○ Children receiving social care services ○ Children living away from home (e.g. in secure settings) ● Statutory powers to: ○ Enter any establishment where children are living (except private dwellings) ○ Access data held by public bodies and services on children ● Special helpline for children: ‘Help at Hand’
  15. 15. OUR VULNERABILITY FRAMEWORK Programme of work which aims to: ● Assess the overall numbers of children who have some form of vulnerability ● Provide all the data in one place (an aggregation tool) ● Provide a common framework for others to use ● Support local and national assessments of need and priorities 2018 update available at: vulnerability-report-2018
  17. 17. Over to Ben
  18. 18. OUR APPROACH
  19. 19. VULNERABILITY INFORMATION IN BENEFITS DATA ● Children of lone parents ● Children living in workless families ● Children living in Temporary Accommodation / Homeless ● Children living in relative poverty ● Children at risk of food poverty ● Children at future risk of poverty ● Children in families with recent parental relationship breakdown
  20. 20. RESEARCH QUESTION What impact will Universal Credit and associated welfare reforms have on children in low-income households?
  21. 21. ● Administrative data from 19 UK local authorities (latest extract from the last 6 months) ● 274,579 children in 138,793 households claiming either HB or CTS ● Demographics: ● Average monthly income £1,568 ● Average savings £634 ● 67% lone parents ● 51% in work ● 32% private renters, 48% social/council renters, 5% temporary accommodation ● 54% London residents METHOD: THE DATA
  22. 22. All benefits data processed through our in-house policy modelling engine: METHOD: POLICY MODELLING 4,000+ parameters capturing all elements of the benefit system, four government departments + macroeconomic trends Housing benefit and CTS extracts from ~140,000 households Bottom-line impact on individuals + Universal Credit UC Advance - 2 Child Limit Benefit Cap
  23. 23. Coping - Income > Costs by more than £100 (or Savings > 3 months Costs) Struggling- Income > Costs by less than £100 At Risk - Costs > Income In Crisis - Costs > Rent Key outcome measure: versus METHOD: FINANCIAL RESILIENCE TOTAL INCOME Earnings + Benefits TOTAL COSTS Housing costs (rent) + Household costs (ONS estimates) Income surplus Income shortfall
  24. 24. ● 42% of households facing a cash shortfall under the Two Child Limit would no longer face a cash shortfall if the policy were removed ● By removing the Two Child Limit, 17,950 children who were ‘at risk of being at risk’ would avoid a family income shortfall RESULTS: TWO CHILD LIMIT* *Financial Resilience (TCL applied to all families with 2+ children) vs. Financial Resilience (no TCL)
  25. 25. ● 37% of households and 12,904 children facing a cash shortfall under the current system would no longer face a cash shortfall under Universal Credit ● 4% of households and 7,680 children with a cash surplus under the current system will face a cash shortfall under Universal Credit RESULTS: UNIVERSAL CREDIT* *Financial Resilience (legacy benefits system) vs. Financial Resilience (Universal Credit)
  26. 26. RESULTS: FIVE WEEK WAIT* *Financial Resilience (legacy benefits system) vs. Financial Resilience( loss of Tax Credits, DWP benefits and three weeks’ Housing Benefit) ● 155,800 children and 70% of households with a cash surplus under the current system would experience a cash shortfall during the Five Week Wait ● If households dip into their savings to cover costs during the Five week wait, their savings will be reduced by £681 on average ● This would completely exhaust the savings of 46,527 households, placing 98,075 children severely ‘at risk of being at risk’
  27. 27. ● Instead of dipping into savings, households can take an advance which will then be recouped from subsequent Universal Credit payments ● When the advance is removed from UC awards, the number of families moving from shortfall to surplus under Universal Credit is reduced by 24%, meaning that 3,064 children remain ‘at risk of being at risk’ ● 3x more households move from surplus to shortfall under reduced UC vs. full UC, with an additional 15,765 children placed ‘at risk of being at risk’ following migration *Financial Resilience (legacy system) vs. Financial Resilience (Universal Credit - advance repayment) RESULTS: UNIVERSAL CREDIT ADVANCE PAYMENT*
  28. 28. ● Produce macro-level statistics on the impact of individual policy elements as well as cumulative impact of all policies combined ● Support individual households to make financial decisions (to migrate or not, to take advance or not) ● Give councils and support organisations operational information about the impact of policies on their residents APPLICATIONS: HOW TO USE THESE FINDINGS
  29. 29. 1. Individuals and advisors: Benefit and Budgeting Calculator 1. Councils: LIFT Dashboard 1. Policymakers: Living Standards Index for London THREE USEFUL LINKS
  30. 30. Over to you for questions
  31. 31. NEXT STEPS FOR US Children’s Commissioner ● Upcoming report on child homelessness and homelessness risk (including Policy in Practice analysis) ● Follow us Policy in Practice ● Develop predictive modelling (machine learning) capability - “Which children this month are likely to end up in TA next month?” ● Follow us
  32. 32. Identify vulnerable children now: ● Build early intervention projects using your data and the LIFT Dashboard Call us on 0330 088 9242 or email us on Link benefits data with children’s service data: ● Track interventions outcomes ● Predict service demand and plan resource allocation ● Track care leaver trajectories Read our blog post How benefits data can help keep children out of poverty Email NEXT STEPS FOR YOU
  33. 33. View downloads: ● Children's Commissioner’s vulnerability report ● Universal Credit roadmap ● Flyer: About us ● Flyer: LIFT Dashboard ● Flyer: Benefit and Budgeting Calculator Complete our very short survey: ● Immediately after the webinar ends ● Ask questions and request a follow up conversation ● Tell us how we did ● Auto register for our next webinar on Wed 15 May: How frontline organisations can prepare for managed migration THANK YOU
  34. 34. THANK YOU 0330 088 9242