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Access recent research about Child Welfare Inequalities

The Child Welfare Inequalities Project App has been developed so that local authorities can investigate the trends and patterns identified in the CWIP research within their own local contexts.

Throughout the research we found that demand for children’s services had been growing, at least since 2010; that more deprived children were more likely to have child welfare interventions; and that there were large inequalities in interventions based on children’s ethnicity. However, we recognise that local authorities need to know whether they fit these general patterns and think at the local level about how they can respond to them.

Please see the full list of links to the App below. The App has been funded to be online until July 2020, if you would like us to be able to consider keeping it online and updated beyond this date, please consider submitting feedback about the impact it has made to your practice and organisation by clicking here.

Generic version

This generic version of the App does not contain any geographical information data (which takes up a large amount of space and processing power) and allows users to select any two authorities to compare, or to have no specific LAs selected. It may therefore be more suitable for national organisations without an interest in specific geography.

It is recommended to use the generic version of the App if your local version is running very slowly (many users requesting geographic maps) and you wish to look at trends over time, not geography.

Click here to go to the generic version of the CWIP App.

Local installation

Installing the CWIP App and its dependencies, the R programming language and RStudio IDE, to your computer itself has a few benefits over using the online version. Namely:

  • The speed of the CWIP App will depend on the computer, not the online server, which can be slower when multiple people are using the CWIP App

  • The local version of the CWIP App has more interactivity features that had to be removed from the web version because of how much they impacted speed

  • The local version of the CWIP App can be accessed offline forever

  • The source code for the local version of the App can be used as a learning resource

  • You can more easily compare multiple local authority geographies and trends in the local version

However, local installation requires a little technical knowledge. We recommend asking the IT team of your organisation to assist you with downloading and installing the App locally. More detailed instructions can be found in the ReadMe file in the download folder.

Click here to download local CWIP App installation files for Windows

Click here to download local CWIP App installation files for Mac OSX


  • Why isn't the online app loading/why is it so slow?

The CWIP App isn't intended to have a very large number of users at a single time, as some of the processing required for the graphs can be quite intensive. We have tried to optimise its speed during busy periods, but certain times (such as just after launch or around reporting periods) may result in more users than usual which can slow down the running of the app. If this happens consistently we will look at further optimising our servers but for now if the app is running too slow we would recommend trying again at a less busy time or downloading and installing the local version of the app above.

  • I can't access the app and it appears to be offline, why is this?

The CWIP App is hosted on servers provided by Occassionally, these servers can go down for maintenance or there can be other problems. In addition, we have a set limit on the amount of usage there can be of the CWIP App depending on the hosting that we have paid for. If the CWIP App has been used a lot in the span of a month it may be temporarily taken down until our usage resets the following month or until we pay the fees for usage beyond our hosting limits.

If the online CWIP App is down you can still download and install the local version of the CWIP App using the links above.

  • I can't download the local version of the app through the linked file.

There are limits on how many times the local version of the app can be downloaded each day and, if this limit is reached, we need to update the links to the file. This is unlikely to happen often after launch, as the local version can be downloaded around 400 times a day without reaching our bandwidth allocation. If you continue having trouble downloading the local version of the app, please email

  • What are Indices of Multiple Deprivation Scores and what does a high or low score mean?

IMD Scores reflect the level of deprivation in a local authority or neighbourhood. These are calculated based on a range of data related to income, employment, health, and other factors. Higher IMD scores reflect higher levels of poverty and deprivation, and lower IMD score reflect lower levels of deprivation. More information about the Indices of Multiple Deprivation can be found here.

  • I can't tell where certain places are on the map.

LSOA boundary data does not include many easily identifiable landmarks. All maps are oriented North, and each LSOA boundary includes a population of between 1,000 and 3,000 people, which makes identifying towns and city centres easier. A future update may include an underlay of a Google map to help users better identify areas. Any points of interest can be hovered over in the local version of the App, and googling the LSOA code will provide a list of postcodes that can be used to identify an area.

  • Some of the interactive features that I saw when the app was demoed are missing now?

The original version of the CWIP App included additional interactivity where a user could hover over a data point and view specific information about that point. Unfortunately, this activity was not well optimised for the online version and made the App very slow, especially when there were multiple users.

Instead, we decided to make it so that the online versions of the CWIP App could offer a quick general overview of deprivation and trends and if users wanted to explore these in more detail they could download and install the local version which retains the original functionality.

  • The map for my local authority is too small and I can't really see specific towns or cities.

Unfortunately, because some local authorities cover very broad geographical areas and administrative boundaries are linked to population size, it can be difficult to see details on the maps for larger authorities.

We would recommend downloading the local version of the CWIP App if you would like to explore maps in more detail (for example, in the local version you can hover over LSOAs to see their code. Googling this code will then link you to a list of postcodes for that LSOA).

  • How do I access more up-to-date data?

The CWIP App will be updated with more recent data if we are able to continue funding its development and hosting. You can help improve the chances of this happening by completing our feedback form here.

  • Can I get support/training for using the CWIP app in my organisation?

Calum Webb is working with Research in Practice to explore options for training and support related to using the CWIP App. We will release more information when possible, but for now please follow updates from the RiP website.


The CWIP App was created by Calum Webb and Rhiannon Thomas at the University of Sheffield.

The Child Welfare Inequalities Project was led by Professors Paul Bywaters, Kate Morris, and Brid Featherstone. More details about the project and research can be found here.

Please cite the CWIP App as:

  • Webb, C. & Thomas, R. (2019) The Child Welfare Inequalities Project App. The University of Sheffield, Sheffield.

The CWIP App was developed in Rstudio using the following packages: Tidyverse, Shiny, Shinydashboard, Plotly, & htmlwidgets. The App would not have been possible without the contributions of the wider R community.

R is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

The CWIP App was funded by the University of Sheffield.