This study finds that one in three children born between 1996 and 1999 who had experience of the care system received a youth justice caution or conviction between the ages of 10 and 17, compared with just 4% of those without experience of care.


Dr Katie Hunter, Professor Brian Francis, Dr Claire Fitzpatrick


This briefing is based on descriptive findings from an ADR UK (Administrative Data Research UK) Research Fellowship project. The project began at Lancaster University and was completed at Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2023. The project involved analysis of new linked datasets from Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Department for Education (DfE) formed under the Data First initiative. The analysis was carried out in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service.

The analysis utilised DfE data taken from the National Pupil Database containing demographic information and Children Looked After (CLA) datasets detailing children’s social care involvementin England. The analysis also utilised MoJ data from the Police National Computer, which includes information about proven offences and sentencing outcomes in England. The primary focus of the fellowship was to understand the links between care experience (i.e.havingbeen in foster care, children’s homes and/or kinship care), ethnicity and involvement with the youth justice system in England.

Publication link

Full Reference

Hunter, K., Francis, B. & Fitzpatrick, C. (2023) Care Experience, Ethnicity and Youth Justice Involvement: Key Trends and Policy Implications. ADR UK.