Ylva Brännström Almquist. Photo: Marie Eriksson

Associate Professor Ylva B Almquist, researcher at the Centre for Health Equity Studies within the Department of Public Health Sciences, has received a grant of 4 700 000 SEK from The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte) for the project "Drivers of inequalities among families involved with child welfare services". The three-year research project will be conducted in a collaboration between the Department of Public Health Sciences and the Department of Social Work at Stockholm University, together with Stanford University, USA, and University of Liverpool, Great Britain.

Project summary

Socioeconomically disadvantaged parents, such as those living in poverty, are much more likely to have their child taken into out-of-home care (OHC). It nevertheless remains unclear how socioeconomic conditions actually cause placement in OHC or whether these differences operate through various types of parental health-related problems. Moreover, we have limited knowledge about the effects that OHC might subsequently have on the health and wellbeing of the parents, and how this can potentially influence the chances of family reunification. The proposed project aims to increase understanding of the drivers of inequalities among families involved with child welfare services in Sweden, by disentangling how the socioeconomic conditions of the family and parental health-related problems intersect with the children’s histories of placement in OHC. To this end, we will compile a new, large-scale register-based cohort that consists of children born in the 1990s – The Swedish Children of the 1990s Cohort Study (SCCS) – as well as their siblings and parents. Based on this cohort, we will apply a number of advanced statistical approaches suitable for the analysis of complex longitudinal data. These approaches enable us to construct trajectories of the family’s socioeconomic conditions and parents’ health-related problems as well as to relate them to placement histories among the entire set of offspring; to develop risk prediction models for assessing which parents that have their child taken into care, among them, which experience family reunification; and to assess causal pathways between socioeconomic conditions, health-related problems, and experiences of child welfare services. In sum, the findings from this project will help to identify possible entry points for social policies targeted toward disadvantaged families, in order to reduce inequalities.

About the project

Title: Drivers of inequalities among families involved with child welfare services
Funding: The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte), (Project id: 2020-00274)
Project time: 2021-01-01 - 2023-12-31

Participating researchers

Stockholm University, Department of Public Health Sciences

Ylva B Almquist (principal investigator)
Viviane Schultz Straatmann
Josephine Jackisch

Stockholm University, Department of Social Work

Lars Brännström
Hilma Forsman

Stanford University

Can Liu
Elizabeth Wall-Wieler

University of Liverpool

David Taylor-Robinson
Daniela Schlüter