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NCJ Number: 228063 Find in a Library
Title: National Study of Male Involvement Among Families in Contact with the Child Welfare System
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:14  Issue:3  Dated:August 2009  Pages:255-262
Author(s): Jennifer L. Bellamy
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: George Warren Brown School of Social Work
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: 5P30 MH068579;05T32MH01996012
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using data from a sample of 3,978 families in contact with the U.S. child welfare system, this study examined the nature of male involvement in these families and the link between this involvement and caseworkers’ perception of children’s risk for a repeat of maltreatment and entry into out-of-home care for child victims.
Abstract: The study found that the majority of families that received service from child welfare agencies had male relatives involved in family dynamics. Biological fathers, stepfathers, and adoptive fathers are most often the adult males involved in families as caregivers, romantic partners, and household members. Other males, including uncles, grandfathers, and romantic partners of primary caregivers were also regularly present. This finding challenges the view that males are absent from family dynamics in which child maltreatment occurs. This study also challenges the assumption that males, especially nonresidential males, are a relatively unimportant consideration compared with mothers and other female caregivers. Having a nonparental adult male in the household, however, was not associated with future maltreatment reports. One possible explanation for this finding is that although caseworkers perceive children living with these males to be at a higher level of risk, data do not support this assumption. Another finding was that children who lived with biological fathers, stepfathers, or adoptive fathers, or did not live with an adult male were all less likely to enter out-of-home care than children who lived with a nonparental adult male. The sample of 3,978 families in contact with the child welfare system was drawn from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Data were obtained on the status of males involved in the household, family demographics, and family violence. Information on repeats of child maltreatment and out-of-home care were obtained from caseworker and caregiver reports. 3 tables and 28 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child protection services; Children at risk; Domestic relations; Family structure; Gender issues; Parent-Child Relations
Note: For other articles in this issue, see NCJ-228060-62 and NCJ-228064-65.
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