Methods: Participants (n=2,647) were a subsample of children (0-71 months) from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW II), a public, nationally representative, and longitudinal survey. The authors used the NSCAW II to examine CAN re-reports at two follow-up waves, 18- and 36-months post baseline assessments for children with and without delays. Developmental delay measures included the Preschool Language Scale-3 (PLS-3), Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, Battelle Developmental Inventory (BDI-2), and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT). The following demographic variables were also included in these analyses: (1) children’s placement type; (2) sex; (3) race/ethnicity; (4) alleged type of maltreatment; (5) existence of a prior CPS report; (6) socioeconomic status; (7) status of current CPS report; and (8) neighborhood setting. Analyses primarily used descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests, and logistic regression models. Logistic regression models were employed to determine the correlation between number of developmental delays and a CAN re-report at waves 2 and 3 while controlling for the demographic variables.
Results: Children had a mean age of 35.69 months and were ethnically diverse, 27.84% Hispanic, 24.45% Black, and 39.48% White. Approximately half had a prior CAN report (46.61%) and the most common alleged maltreatment type was neglect (31.67%). Majority lived in urban settings (76.38%), were placed in-home with their parents (87.72%), and had unsubstantiated CAN reports (71.44%). 15.34% of children had one delay and 2.69% had delays in three or more domains of development. Chi-square analyses revealed that males were more likely than females to exhibit delays across all areas of development. Logistic modeling determined that children with three or more domains of delays were 4.73 times more likely than children without developmental delays to be re-reported to CPS at wave 2 and there was a non-significant trend in the same direction for wave 3.
Conclusions and Implications: In this study, children with multiple developmental delays have elevated rates of CAN re-reports when compared to typically developing children. Allocation of child welfare resources should include strategies for preventing maltreatment risk among children with developmental delays.