Saturday, December 8, 2012

Re-referral to child protective services: The influence of child, family, and case characteristics on risk status

Connell, C.M.a, Bergeron, N.a, Katz, K.H.a, Saunders, L.b, Tebes, J.K.a

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States
Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Providence, RI, United States

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Introduction: This study examines child, family, and case characteristics that impact rates of re-referral to Child Protective Services (CPS) using data on all closed CPS investigations for the state of Rhode Island between 2001 and 2004. Method: A longitudinal dataset of all referrals to CPS was created using state submissions to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). After excluding children whose initial CPS investigation resulted in removal from the home, a Cox proportional hazards model was tested to examine factors impacting the likelihood of re-referral. Results: Consistent with other research in this area, the initial 6-month period following case disposition is the period of greatest risk of re-referral. Approximately 13% of cases experienced a recurrent allegation during the first 6-month period; an additional 14% experienced a re-referral over the following 12-month period; 7% during the next 12-month period. Family poverty was the strongest predictor of re-referral, though a number of child and case characteristics were significantly related to recurrence. Cases that were substantiated at index were significantly less likely to result in a new allegation, though substantiated cases of physical abuse or those receiving post-investigation services were at higher risk. Conclusions: Children from families facing multiple stressors (e.g., low SES, parental substance abuse child disability) are at highest risk of re-referral to CPS and may benefit from the development of preventive services targeted immediately following case closings within CPS. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author keywords

Child protective services; Cox regression; Family; Re-referral; Risk

Indexed Keywords

EMTREE medical terms: adolescent; article; child care; family; female; high risk population; human; longitudinal study; major clinical study; male; patient referral; poverty; preschool child; recurrence risk; risk assessment; school child; stress; substance abuse

MeSH: Adolescent; Child; Child Abuse; Family; Female; Humans; Male; Referral and Consultation; Risk Factors; Social Work
Medline is the source for the MeSH terms of this document.

Child Abuse; Child Welfare Services; Disposition; Family Violence; Recidivism; Referral; Risk Factors; Socioeconomic Status; Substance Abuse

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