Improving experiences of Roma families with Children’s Services – new research project

We are excited to start our new research project, in collaboration with Roma NGOs, Anglia Ruskin University and Lancaster University- Centre for Child and Family Justice Research. 

Overall aim

Our main aim is to identify challenges and barriers that Roma families face when interacting with Children’s Services and identify good practice models and possible solutions that would improve experiences of Roma families with Children’s Services in the context of child protection. We will do this by actively engaging multiple stakeholders through dialogue and knowledge exchange. A secondary aim is to identify and formulate policy recommendations which can be taken forward with support from relevant policy makers and APPG members in subsequent phases of the project.

What will we do?

The research will comprise of several elements, including: 

  • A UK based literature review about experiences of Roma with Children’s Services in England in the last 10 years.  
  • Analysis of the DfE data that is publicly available regarding numbers of Roma children in care and other available statistics about the child protection system.
  • Analysis of the care proceedings cases that involve Roma families, available through LEXIS portal.
  • Analysis of serious case reviews involving Roma families.
  • An overview of the current relevant policy landscape, including the independent review of children’s social care (2022), community cohesion framework, rising (child) poverty in England and the impact of Brexit on Roma families. 
  • Consultation with social work professionals and legal professionals who have worked with Roma families in England 
  • Focus group meetings with Roma community members consisting of people who have been in contact with Children’s Services, supported others through the child protection process or advocated on their behalf.

We will produce two publications utilising data and findings – one aimed at policymakers and practitioners and the other at community members and NGOs supporting Roma clients. The publications will outline the findings and approaches and make recommendations for practice and policy development. 

We will organise a launch event with key stakeholders (Roma organisations, social workers, legal professionals, academics, legal practitioners, and parliamentarians) to highlight the research findings and the important recommendations for policy/practice change. 

The report will be publicly available on Law for Life’s website, Lancaster University’s website and Anglia Ruskin’s website. 

For more information about the project, please contact

We are grateful to the Tudor Trust, Lancaster University, and Anglia Ruskin University for funding this work. 


Last edited on January 2023