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Longitudinal Analysis of Repeated Child Abuse Reporting and Victimization: Multistate Analysis of Associated Factors

NCJ Number
Child Maltreatment Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2008 Pages: 76-88
John D. Fluke; Gila R. Shusterman; Dana M. Hollinshead; Ying-Ying T. Yuan
Date Published
February 2008
13 pages
This study examined individual, maltreatment, and service-related factors associated with maltreatment rereporting and substantiated rereporting in a multi-State context.
Results indicated that within 24 months, 22 percent of children were rereported, and 7 percent were rereported with substantiation. Children who are younger, White or of mixed-race, those with disabilities, and those whose caregivers abuse alcohol will more likely to be rereported and rereported and substantiated. Service provision, including foster care placements, was associated with increased likelihood of subsequent events. Results show that effective child protective services (CPS) intervention depends on identifying and implementing effective service models that can be shown to prevent future harm, even if a child has high intrinsic risk. Because measures of rereporting are used to assess agency performance over time, it may be important to include separate measures of children who receive services to discern possible safety improvements in postinvestigation intervention. Elevated risk for repeated CPS intervention and its association with the provision of services, including foster care is perplexing. This hypothesized relationship is either because of the intrinsic elevated risk associated with children and families who receive postinvestigation services, or because of increased levels of CPS and community surveillance that go along with the receipt of services. Other indicators of intrinsic risk may include maltreatment severity, slowed development, injury, poor school performance, and low physical and mental health functioning. Access to one or more valid risk constructs other than reporting or recurrence would be helpful in determining the impact of intrinsic risk. Surveillance is also a construct that incorporates the frequency, observational quality, and persistence of CPS staff contact with children and families. The presence of child disability or caretakers who abuse alcohol was shown to independently contribute to the risk of rereport. Taken together, these variables could be viewed as proxies for intrinsic risk indicators. NCANDS data were analyzed on 505,621 children. Tables, figure, note references