Methods: This study relied on longitudinal child welfare administrative data from a large southwestern state from 2014 to 2020. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between CSE experiences and parental status among all girls in care on their 17th birthday between 2014-2018 and who had reached 18 years of age by 2020. The model controlled for ethnicity, which was identified as a predictor of both parenting and experiences of CSE. Subsequently, an analysis was conducted on all girls identified by the child welfare data system as having experienced CSE as a minor and had reached 18 years of age by 2020 (N=1,140), regardless of placement status. Known parents were measured using existing parent-child data linkages within the dataset. One-year case and placement-related outcomes were assessed for mothers and children. Descriptive statistics were generated using SAS 9.4.
Results: Using logistic regression, we found that youth who had known experiences of CSE were more than twice as likely to be parents as were girls without known CSE histories, after controlling for ethnicity (AOR: 2.30; 95% CI: 1.86, 2.83; p<.0001). This led to a separate analysis of all 2,176 girls identified by the state’s data system as having experienced CSE, of whom 242 (11.12%) were known to have given birth at least once prior to age 18. Among known parents, nearly half (46.28%) had child welfare cases opened on their child during the first year of life, and more than one-third (38.02%) had a child placed in foster care before age one. A majority of mothers whose children were placed into out-of-home care were in foster care themselves (n=77), yet only 10% resided in placement together during the child’s first year of life.
Conclusions This study documents the association between CSE experiences and parenting, offers previously unavailable information about youth with dual-involvement in the child welfare system as children and mothers, and highlights the need for parenting-related services for youth who experience CSE.