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NCJ Number: 209608 Find in a Library
Title: Brief Encounters: Children in Shelter for 7 Days or Less
Journal: CURA Reporter  Volume:35  Issue:1  Dated:Winter 2005  Pages:1-6
Author(s): Esther Wattenberg; Katherine Luke; Molly Ann Petersen
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the circumstances of 1,306 children who were removed from their families under emergency situations and held for 7 days or less in out-of-home emergency shelter care in Hennepin County (Minnesota) in 1999.
Abstract: The issues addressed in the study were whether placement in a shelter was the least intrusive response for the safety needs of children in emergency situations, as well as the nature of the working relationship between child protection workers and local law enforcement officers. Data used in the study were based largely on administrative information collected at St. Joseph's Home during 1999. Intake forms provided information on age, address, race-ethnicity, placement authority, reasons for placement, and disposition. These data were supplemented by group interviews with county child protection workers and supervisors, as well as staff of St. Joseph's Home. Individual interviews were conducted with the Minneapolis police chief, the supervisor of the Community Based First Response Unit, child protection workers based in a police precinct, intake workers, and county community based first response workers. The study found that a major reason for removing very young children (ages 0-6) from their families in emergency situations was incarceration of a parent. This was disproportionately the case for African-American children. The arrest was not necessarily related to child maltreatment. Children tended to perceive their own removal from the family home as a type of arrest, in that it involved the involuntary separation from familiar surroundings attended with painful and confusing consequences. Although the relationship between police and child welfare workers was favorable, problems were related to police failure to report child-protection situations to child protection services, as well as police concerns about screening criteria for placement and the rapid return of children to potentially unsafe homes. 2 figures
Main Term(s): Parent-Child Relations
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Child protection services; Children of incarcerated offenders; Crisis shelters; Ethnic groups; Juvenile shelter care; Minnesota; Police-social worker cooperation
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