Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 37 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2013 Pages: 33-46
This study investigated the racial and ethnic disparities for children referred and substantiated as victims of child abuse and neglect.
Findings from this study on the racial and ethnic disparities present in children referred and substantiated as victims of child abuse and neglect include the following: compared to White children, Black children were more than twice as likely to be referred for maltreatment, substantiated as victims, and placed in foster care before the age of 5; Black children from a lower socioeconomic background were at a lower risk for referral, substantiation, and placement in foster care, compared to White children from a similar background; Latino children whose mothers were born in the United States were more likely to be referred, substantiated, and placed in foster care, compared to their White counterparts; and Latino children whose mothers were born outside the United States were at lower risk for contact with the child welfare system. This study investigated the racial and ethnic disparities present for children involved in the child welfare system. Data for the study were obtained from a dataset containing the vital birth records for all children born in California in 2002. The birth records were linked to child protective service records to identify all children in the State who were referred for maltreatment by the age of 5. Linear analyses were conducted to determine whether race/ethnicity acted as a predictor of a child's referral for maltreatment, substantiation as a victim of maltreatment, and entry into foster care. The findings suggest that race/ethnicity does not play as important a role in a child's contact with child protective services as does the presence of indicators of low socioeconomic status. Study limitations and implications for policy and practice are discussed. Tables, figures, and references
United States of America