Friday, 14 January 2005 - 12:00 PM
This presentation is part of: Poster Session I
Rates of Entry and Duration of Involvement for Hispanic Children in Out-of Home PlacementsWesley T. Church II, PhD, University of Alabama and Joshua Baldwin, MSW, University of Alabama.
Purpose: Previous studies indicate that minority children may receive less effective services in Child Welfare systems. The purpose of this research was to investigate differential child welfare placement outcomes of non-Hispanic and Hispanic children and families who have substantiated cases of abuse/neglect. Specifically, this study addressed the differential treatment of these two groups by examining placements in the following settings: a) therapeutic/treatment foster homes, b) family foster homes, c) group homes, d) residential group homes, and e) in-home services. To arrive at a dynamic modeling of differential placement and reunification Kaplan Meyer Survival Analyses focused on the length of time between Child Protective Services (CPS) referral and substantiation and (1) placement, and (2) reunification. Additional child, family, and case factors were identified and analyzed for their effect on this differential treatment using Cox Regression.
Methods: This study was a retrospective, two year, longitudinal, survival analysis of differential child welfare placement outcomes of non-Hispanic and Hispanic children/families which had substantiated cases of abuse/neglect. Participants (n = 1001) were selected from a much larger pool of cases supplied by the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) based on substantiation and identified abuser as criteria. Each of these cases was referred to DCFS during the year 2000 and were followed through 2002 or termination.
Results: Findings demonstrate that although cases reported for abuse/neglect are relatively proportionate between Hispanic and non-Hispanic children, substantiated cases are more likely to occur with Hispanic children. These children are more likely to be placed out of the home more quickly and for longer periods of time than their non-Hispanic counterparts. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that age, economic level, family structure, and type of allegation (e.g. physical, sexual abuse, etc.) were all significant predictors of differential treatment of Hispanic children. After controlling for these factors Cox Regression revealed that Hispanic or Non-Hispanic remained a significant factor in determining time to placement and reunification.
Implications for Practice: The current study demonstrates the need for increased cultural awareness among Child Welfare professionals, especially in terms of assessment and case decision making. The results of this study were reported back to the Utah Department of Child and Family Services with the purpose of the development of culturally sensitive training modules for CPS and case management personnel.
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