Bridging Disciplinary Boundaries (January 11 - 14, 2007)

Saturday, January 13, 2007: 10:00 AM-11:45 AM
Marina Room (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
New Findings from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW): Applying Innovative Methods to Assess Child Safety and Well-Being Outcomes
Organizer:Richard P. Barth, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Family Group Decision Making: Using Propensity Score Matching to Assess Services and Safety Outcomes after 36-Months
Elizabeth Caplick
Reported and Unreported Re-Abuse Following Child Welfare Involvement: Racial and Ethnic Differences
Patricia Kohl, PhD
Child Welfare Reinvolvement and Re-Entry Following Reunification: Implications for Practice and for National Performance Standards
Richard P. Barth, PhD, Shenyang Guo, Elizabeth Caplick
Modeling the Development of Infants Involved in Child Welfare Services Using Latent Trajectory Analysis
E. Christopher Lloyd, MSW
Abstract Text:
The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), authorized by Congress, is the first study of a national probability sample of children assessed following child abuse and neglect reports and investigation by child welfare services (CWS). The sample was drawn from 96 PSUs in 40 states; data were collected from children, caregivers, and child welfare workers. Two samples of children are included: 5504 children enrolled immediately upon receipt of a child maltreatment report (“core” sample), and 733 children enrolled after at least one year in foster care (“foster care” sample). Each group received standardized mental health and developmental measures for children, foster parents, and biological parents. Services provided to children and caregivers are also included. Data from the core sample are used and all papers include information gathered through wave 4 (36-months). One paper has complete developmental analyses of infants through 36-months, but will also include additional data that was collected in winter 2005 during a special follow-up sample of infants at 6-years—these data are to be made publicly available this summer. NSCAW has been reauthorized for another 5 years at an estimate cost of nearly $30 million and has growing use. The symposium, directly and by example, will help explain analysis opportunities for these data.

This symposium will consist of a very brief introduction by the session organizer, to NSCAW, the current status of the funding, and the availability of archived data. Following this will be four presentations. Each presentation shares a common feature of employing longitudinal data analysis methods and examining child safety and developmental outcomes. Innovative methods included in the presentation are Latent Trajectory Analysis and propensity score matching. The first paper addresses outcomes following involvement in family group conferencing at 36-months. A follow-up on the descriptive presentation made at SSWR in 2006, this paper uses propensity score matching to contrast longitudinal outcomes for equivalent groups of children who do and do not receive family group conferencing. The second and third papers also examine safety—the first with a focus on various forms of CWS reinvolvement (including reabuse of reunified children) and makes a case for changes in ways that we measure child safety. The third paper examines official reports and undetected abuse—reported by parents themselves—through a racial/ethnic lens to caste light on the disproportionate involvement of minority children in CWS. The final paper uses latent trajectory analysis to examine developmental changes for infants so that the influence on their development that is associated with exposure to services can be precisely measured.

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