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California Child Welfare Performance Indicators Project Researchers Publish New Study

Population-based study looks at race/ethnicity of children reported, substantiated and entering foster care

The California Child Welfare Performance Indicators Project research team’s new article, “Racial and ethnic disparities: A population-based examination of risk factors for involvement with child protective services,” was recently published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect.

In the study, authors Emily Putnam-Hornstein (PhD ’10), Barbara Needell (MSW ’92, PhD ’96), Bryn King and Michelle Johnson-Motoyama (PhD ’07) linked birth records for all children born in California in 2002 to child protective service (CPS) records, identifying those who were referred for maltreatment by age five. The authors examined the racial/ethnic differences in children’s risk of referral, substantiation and entry to foster care, while also considering the significant differences in the distribution of socioeconomic and health factors across racial/ethnic groups.

“This analysis indicates that adjusting for child and family-level risk factors is necessary to distinguish race-specific effects…from socioeconomic and health indicators associated with maltreatment risk,” note the report authors. “Identifying the independent effects of these factors is critical to developing effective strategies for reducing racial disparities.”

Click here to read “Racial and ethnic disparities: A population-based examination of risk factors for involvement with child protective services.”