Recidivism in the child protection system: Identifying children at greatest risk of reabuse among those remaining in the home

Suzanne R. Dakil, Christina Sakai, Hua Lin, Glenn Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To identify risk clusters that are associated with higher or lower risk of new abuse reports (rereports) and substantiated rereports (reabuse) in children who remain in the home after an abuse report. Design: A 5-year prospective cohort study. Setting: National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Participants: Children reported to the child protection system for child abuse. Main Exposure: Remaining in the home after an abuse report. Main Outcome Measure: Incidence of rereports and reabuse. Results: A total of 2578 children remained in the home following an abuse report, and 44% were rereported within the follow-up period. In bivariate analyses, children with behavior problems (49% vs 38%), caregivers with an abuse history (33% vs 16%) or a child welfare history (38% vs 25%), and families with an annual income lower than $20 000 (70% vs 60%) were more likely to be rereported. Forty-five percent of rereports were substantiated reabuse, but 2 risk clusters had a higher incidence: (1) the cluster with a substantiated index report, having a caregiver without parenting class, non-African American race/ethnicity, and caregiver younger than 41.5 years (54%); and (2) the cluster with a substantiated index report, a caregiver with parenting class, and child age younger than 8.5 years (60%). The lowest risk group for reabuse had a substantiated index report, a caregiver without parenting class, non-African American race/ ethnicity, and a caregiver 41.5 years or older (26%). Conclusions: Among children remaining in the home following an abuse report, specific risk groups have higher and lower incidence of rereports and reabuse. These risk-group categories may be useful to child protection services and others in identifying at-risk children and making decisions about placement and services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1012
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume165
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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