Child Protection

Child Protection: Using Research to Improve Policy and Practice

Ron Haskins
Fred Wulczyn
Mary Bruce Webb
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 268
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt6wpfh6
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  • Book Info
    Child Protection
    Book Description:

    The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) is the first nationally representative study of children who have been reported to authorities as suspected victims of abuse or neglect and the public programs that protect them. Child Protection is the first book that reports the results of NSCAW, interprets the findings, and puts them into a broader policy context.

    The authors, all experts in child welfare issues, address a range of issues made apparent by the survey results, including which types of personal and familial problems the programs are meant to address, the range of services and interventions that the child protection system can make available, and an assessment of these programs. Each chapter discusses the survey's implications and suggests new alternatives for designing and implementing future programs that not only protect at-risk children from further harm but also provide them with security and support. The practical lessons included in this volume make it an essential reference for all professionals working in the child protection field as well as anyone studying in the field of child welfare.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-3510-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Patrick McCarthy

    We do not know enough about child abuse and neglect, and much of what we think we know is questionable. So when the Annie E. Casey Foundation was approached by Ron Haskins and Fred Wulczyn to cosponsor a forum on findings from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), we jumped at the chance. This landmark longitudinal study of children and families who come to the attention of the child protection system provides hard data and critical insights. Whether confirming or challenging strongly held beliefs and perceptions, this study contributes to our knowledge about what services and supports...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. 1 Using High-Quality Research to Improve Child Protection Practice: An Overview
    (pp. 1-33)
    RON HASKINS, FRED WULCZYN and MARY BRUCE WEBB

    Each year in the United States, nearly 900,000 children are physically harmed or neglected by their caretakers, and approximately 1,300 of them die.¹ In addition, a little more than a half million children live in foster care—a living arrangement that includes families previously unknown to the child, relatives, and various forms of group and residential care.² Given the well-known problems associated with foster care, in combination with the abuse or neglect itself, it is little wonder that these children have an elevated incidence of poor school achievement, school dropout, mental health problems, arrests, teen pregnancies, and other afflictions.³ The...

  6. 2 Identifying Young Maltreated Children with Developmental Delays
    (pp. 34-43)
    STEVEN A. ROSENBERG, ELLIOTT G. SMITH and ARNOLD LEVINSON

    Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was designed as an interagency program for the coordination of efforts within and across community and governmental agencies to address the needs of infants and toddlers with developmental delays and their families. Child welfare agencies are among the entities expected to be involved in these interagency efforts. Child welfare programs are responsible, under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), for ensuring the safety and well-being of children who are maltreated by providing child protective services (CPS) and foster care services. Recent changes in federal legislation have mandated greater...

  7. 3 Intimate Partner Violence in the Child Welfare System: Findings from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being
    (pp. 44-61)
    ANDREA L. HAZEN, CYNTHIA D. CONNELLY, KELLY J. KELLEHER, JOHN A. LANDSVERK and RICHARD P. BARTH

    More than twenty years of research has documented the fact that intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem that affects the well-being of a large proportion of women and children in the United States. As recognition of its pervasiveness and harmful consequences has grown, so has interest in increasing our understanding of this problem in high-risk populations, such as families involved with the child welfare system. There has been relatively little research on this topic to date, and existing studies have generally been limited in scope. The purpose of this paper is to report findings from the...

  8. 4 Initial Construction of an Actuarial Risk Assessment Measure Using the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being
    (pp. 62-80)
    ARON SHLONSKY

    Child welfare workers are charged with making crucial decisions on child placement and service, and they must make these decisions while considering the complex interplay between poverty, parental substance abuse, and domestic violence.¹ In such a decisionmaking context, high error rates are inevitable, despite good intentions. For example, some families that would not have maltreated their child in the future will have their child placed in care (these cases are false positives), while some children will be left with families that will maltreat them (these are false negatives). Indeed, referring to the latter category, of the estimated 879,000 victims of...

  9. 5 Building on Strengths: Current Status and Opportunities for Improvement of Parent Training for Families in Child Welfare
    (pp. 81-106)
    MICHAEL S. HURLBURT, RICHARD P. BARTH, LAUREL K. LESLIE, JOHN A. LANDSVERK and JULIE S. McCRAE

    The purpose of this paper is to understand in greater detail recent trends in the use of parent training for families involved with child welfare and to propose promising directions for development and research of parent training services relevant to child welfare, using data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) and the Caring for Children in Child Welfare (CCCW) study. This paper focuses specifically on parent training services delivered to families who receive child welfare services, or services initiated by child welfare, and whose children remain at home after they come into contact with the child...

  10. 6 Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Service Need for Caregivers and Children Involved with Child Welfare
    (pp. 107-119)
    ANNE M. LIBBY, HEATHER D. ORTON, RICHARD P. BARTH and BARBARA J. BURNS

    Mental health and substance use disorders are major public health problems affecting millions of American families, with estimated annual costs in the billions of dollars borne by individuals and society.¹ Many adults who suffer from these problems are also parents, a situation that possibly places their children at risk for the negative consequences associated with mental health and substance abuse problems. Studies have shown poorer developmental outcomes on physical, cognitive, and social dimensions for children of parents with substance or mental health problems and increased risk of these children for emotional problems and substance use themselves.² This paper draws on...

  11. 7 Medicaid and Mental Health Care for Children in the Child Welfare System
    (pp. 120-139)
    RAMESH RAGHAVAN and ARLEEN LEIBOWITZ

    Child welfare policymakers are greatly concerned with ensuring the emotional well-being of maltreated children through the delivery of adequate and appropriate mental health services and with finding financial resources to support such services. In fiscal year 2004, child welfare agencies nationwide investigated the families of around 3 million children for alleged child abuse or neglect.¹ Of these, approximately 872,000 children were determined to be victims of maltreatment. Maltreated children have high needs for, and high use of, mental health services, and states have increasingly come to depend upon Medicaid to fund these services.² In recent years, however, Medicaid has undergone...

  12. 8 Systems Integration and Access to Mental Health Care
    (pp. 140-154)
    JOHN A. LANDSVERK, MICHAEL S. HURLBURT and LAUREL K. LESLIE

    Since the mid-1980s, there has been a significant increase in research and understanding of mental health services for children and adolescents. The initial impetus came from the publication in 1982 of Jane Knitzer’sUnclaimed Children, which critiqued the lack of integration in mental health services for children and adolescents.¹ The impetus was further stimulated by Beth Stroul and Robert Friedman’s 1986 response to Knitzer’s work,A System of Care for Children and Youth with Severe Emotional Disturbances, presenting principles for delivery of mental health care for children and adolescents.² It is now well recognized that children and adolescents with significant...

  13. 9 Predictors of Reunification
    (pp. 155-170)
    JUDITH WILDFIRE, RICHARD P. BARTH and REBECCA L. GREEN

    The quest for permanency begins the day a child enters out-of-home placement. Many children who enter out-of-home placement will ultimately be reunified with their biological families. Yet there is no clear understanding of the reasons why some children return home while others remain in out-of-home placement for extended periods of time or enter into other living arrangements such as adoption, independent living, or relative guardianships. This paper examines two questions relating to reunification. First, what are the characteristics of children who are reunified with their biological families? Second, how do activities of child welfare agencies and actions of permanent caregivers...

  14. 10 Placement Stability and Early Behavioral Outcomes among Children in Out-of-Home Care
    (pp. 171-186)
    DAVID M. RUBIN, AMANDA L. R. O’REILLY, LAUREN HAFNER, XIANQUN LUAN and A. RUSSELL LOCALIO

    More than half a million children in the United States currently reside in foster care. Nearly half of these children have been there for more than eighteen months, and many children have been in care for much longer.¹ A major concern for children placed in foster care is that frequent placement moves threaten a child’s well-being and ability to form successful long-term relationships. Attachment theory suggests that the more quickly a child finds stability in an out-of-home setting, the better able that child will be to overcome early attachment failures that are associated with child maltreatment.² Attachment theory helps explain,...

  15. 11 Kinship Care and Nonkinship Foster Care: Informing the New Debate
    (pp. 187-206)
    RICHARD P. BARTH, SHENYANG GUO, REBECCA L. GREEN and JULIE S. McCRAE

    The century-old debate about the ability of out-of-home care to meet child welfare goals and objectives has evolved into a debate about two predominant forms of care: kinship care versus foster care.¹ Parties to the debate weigh the ability of each type of care to meet the three recognized goals of child protective services: safety, permanency, and well-being.² The debate includes the extent to which children in kinship and nonkinship care receive necessary services, although there is general agreement that kin are less likely to enroll children in additional services.³

    The preference for placing children with extended family members is...

  16. 12 Child Maltreatment Recurrence among Children Remaining In-Home: Predictors of Re-Reports
    (pp. 207-225)
    PATRICIA L. KOHL and RICHARD P. BARTH

    The fundamental mission of child welfare services is to protect the safety of children.¹ To assess success in protecting children, evaluators generally rely on indicators constructed from reabuse reports collected by child welfare service agencies.² It is no secret that official reports offer limited information. Maltreatment has to be reported before it is included in official counts, and when it is reported, detailed data about child and family characteristics are not routinely collected. To develop a deeper understanding of maltreatment recurrence, such deficiencies have to be addressed.³ The aim of this chapter is to expand current knowledge about the relationship...

  17. 13 Physical Abuse and Adolescent Development
    (pp. 226-242)
    JOHN ECKENRODE, CHARLES IZZO and ELLIOTT G. SMITH

    The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) is a unique resource for exploring a number of important questions regarding children who come in contact with the child welfare system because of abuse or neglect. In this chapter we address two major issues related to the physical abuse of adolescent children. First, we present a method for classifying youth as physically abused that uses multiple sources of data in the NSCAW study. Second, we relate the occurrence of physical abuse to several outcomes, including decreases in socioemotional well-being and academic achievement and an increase in behavior problems. Previous research...

  18. 14 Addressing the Educational Needs of Children in Child Welfare Services
    (pp. 243-258)
    MARY BRUCE WEBB, PAMELA FROME, BRENDA JONES HARDEN, RODNEY BAXTER, KATHERINE DOWD and SUNNY HYUCKUN SHIN

    Children in the child welfare system have a variety of special needs with respect to their cognitive and academic functioning as well as their physical and mental health. Research documents adverse developmental outcomes for many children in the child welfare system resulting from perinatal problems, maltreatment, changes of residence, and a host of other risk factors.¹ One of the most important outcomes, and one that is well documented by research, is the poor educational attainment of these children.² Many of the factors that compromise a child’s achievement may exist before the child welfare system becomes involved; even so, evidence of...

  19. Contributors
    (pp. 259-260)
  20. Index
    (pp. 261-268)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 269-271)