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Effectiveness of child protective services interventions as indicated by rates of recidivism


  • Solomon, David
  • Åsberg, Kia


Child maltreatment is a pervasive problem with a number of negative consequences, both in terms of human suffering and economic costs. This issue is compounded by the alarming rates of recidivism (i.e., having a second case of maltreatment following the original event), which has been linked to even poorer outcomes for children involved. Child Protective Services (CPS) is the government agency charged with intervening in cases of maltreatment and preventing further maltreatment. While many studies have examined the relationship between background variables and recidivism, fewer studies have examined CPS interventions in this regard. A better understanding of these factors could help inform CPS on which interventions to employ, or which cases may require closer monitoring. Thus, the goal of the current study is to test the predictability of recidivism based on both background factors (e.g., disability status of the child, type of abuse) and CPS interventions (e.g., providing therapy for the caregiver, removing the child from the caregiver temporarily). Two predictors, minority status of the caregiver and providing therapy for the caregiver, were associated with reduced recidivism outcomes, while temporarily removing the child from the caregiver was associated with increased chances of recidivism. It may be concluded that cases involving child placement away from the caregiver may require further monitoring by CPS, and that ordering therapy for more caregivers may help to reduce recidivism rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Solomon, David & Åsberg, Kia, 2012. "Effectiveness of child protective services interventions as indicated by rates of recidivism," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2311-2318.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:12:p:2311-2318
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.08.014

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kahn, Jessica M. & Schwalbe, Craig, 2010. "The timing to and risk factors associated with child welfare system recidivism at two decision-making points," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1035-1044, July.
    2. Conley, Amy, 2007. "Differential response: A critical examination of a secondary prevention model," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1454-1468, November.
    3. Palusci, Vincent J., 2011. "Risk factors and services for child maltreatment among infants and young children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1374-1382, August.
    4. Southerland, Dannia & Casanueva, Cecilia E. & Ringeisen, Heather, 2009. "Young adult outcomes and mental health problems among transition age youth investigated for maltreatment during adolescence," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 947-956, September.
    5. Antle, Becky F. & Barbee, Anita P. & Christensen, Dana N. & Sullivan, Dana J., 2009. "The prevention of child maltreatment recidivism through the Solution-Based Casework model of child welfare practice," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 1346-1351, December.
    6. Cheng, Tyrone C. & Lo, Celia C., 2011. "A longitudinal analysis of some risk and protective factors in marijuana use by adolescents receiving child welfare services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1667-1672, September.
    7. Humphrey, Kristen R. & Turnbull, Ann P. & Turnbull III, H. Rutherford, 2006. "Impact of the Adoption and Safe Families Act on youth and their families: Perspectives of foster care providers, youth with emotional disorders, service providers, and judges," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 113-132, February.
    8. Inkelas, Moira & Halfon, Neal, 1997. "Recidivism in child protective services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 139-161.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:cysrev:v:84:y:2018:i:c:p:185-192 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bae, Hwa-ok & Kindler, Heinz, 2017. "Child maltreatment re-notifications in Germany: Analysis of local case files," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 42-49.
    3. Casanueva, Cecilia & Tueller, Stephen & Dolan, Melissa & Testa, Mark & Smith, Keith & Day, Orin, 2015. "Examining predictors of re-reports and recurrence of child maltreatment using two national data sources," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-13.


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