Who gets services and who does not? Multi-level approach to the decision for ongoing child welfare or referral to specialized services
AbstractSurprisingly little is known on the decisions to provide services after a report is investigated. To fill this gap the study aims at identifying factors associated with the decision to provide ongoing child welfare services or to refer to specialized services following the investigation of the report. A multi-level analysis was applied to a representative sample of 15,980 investigations nested within 111 agencies throughout Canada. In almost 60% of cases some type of service was offered. Several case characteristics indicating a need for support such as having child or caregiver functioning issues, few social supports, teen parenting and low socioeconomic status were significantly associated with the odds of receiving services. Being identified with any type of substantiated or suspected maltreatment increased the likelihood of services compared to other types and unsubstantiated investigations. The impact of risk investigations on service referrals was striking. Caregiver and household concerns seem to drive decisions as much as if not more as substantiation status yielding further support for the implementation of an alternative response track beside the investigative track. Although there was remarkable variation in service referral rates between agencies, factors accounting for that difference remained largely unexplained.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.
Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth
Service provision; Decision-making; Organizational context;
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