Social work with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children

Social work with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children

Paul Adams, Daniel Allen


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Social work with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and families has received scant attention, for a variety of reasons, including long-term historical and societal factors. Consequently, the needs of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in the care system have largely been overlooked.

In this complex area of social work, how can practitioners work effectively and constructively with these communities? How can we better understand Gypsy, Roma and Traveller cultures and traditions, and develop culturally competent practice to inform work with these groups? How can we improve the outcomes for looked after children from these families, and help foster carers and adopters to provide the best placements for them?

This Good Practice addresses these and many more questions and will be of immense help to all those working with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities and looked after children.

Who is this book for?

Children’s social workers, adoption and fostering practitioners, Children’s Guardians and Independent Reviewing Officers.

What you will find in this book

The guide explores:

  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, their ethnicities, cultures and traditions
  • the legal context and implications for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in care
  • the social policy context, including issues surrounding accommodation, education, health and criminal justice
  • culturally competent and antidiscriminatory casework, including the practicalities of engaging with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children’s experiences of the care system
  • how to support Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children to have positive views of themselves and to be proud of their identity and heritage
  • placement issues, including the assessment and support of family, friends, foster carers and adopters


Paul Adams:
Paul Adams was CoramBAAF’s Fostering Development Consultant. He has worked as a social worker, primarily in local authority children’s services, managing child care and fostering teams. He has authored Good Practice Guides on a range of subjects, and has

Daniel Allen is a senior social work lecturer at Edge Hill University within the Faculty of Health and Social Care.