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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229954 Find in a Library
Title: Placement Decisions and Disparities Among Aboriginal Groups: An Application of the Decision Making Ecology Through Multi-Level Analysis
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:34  Issue:1  Dated:January 2010  Pages:57-69
Author(s): John D. Fluke; Martin Chabot; Barbara Fallon; Bruce MacLaurin; Cindy Blackstock
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This Canadian study examined the relative influence of clinical and organizational characteristics on child-protection agencies' decisions to place a child in out-of-home care after a child maltreatment investigation, with attention to influences related to disparities in placement decisions involving Aboriginal children.
Abstract: The study found that the key factors that increased the likelihood of an out-of-home placement were evidence of emotional harm to the child, having two or more recent moves prior to the investigation, and concerns regarding caregiver functioning. Case factors that were linked to the reduced likelihood of out-of-home placement were a report of emotional maltreatment and the cooperation of the caregiver. There was a notable absence of case variables that showed the direct effect of the child's Aboriginal status as a factor in out-of-home placement decisions. Although Aboriginal children are overrepresented in Canada's child welfare system, this study did not produce any analytical results that indicate this overrepresentation is due to differential decisionmaking regarding specific children or families. On the other hand, the study does support the hypothesis that disparities may be occurring at the agency level, i.e., a gap in service supports for Aboriginal children. Aboriginal children receive less funding per child for Federal child welfare services. This study examined decisions to place children in out-of-home care by using data from the "Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect." This dataset consists of information on the results of nearly 5,000 child maltreatment investigations, as well as a description of the characteristics of the workers and organization responsible for conducting those investigations. Multilevel statistical models were developed by using MPlus software. This software can accommodate dichotomous outcome variables, which are more reflective of decisionmaking in child welfare cases. 5 tables, 1 figure, and 58 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Canada; Child placement services; Foreign criminal justice research; Foster homes; Juvenile foster homes; Racial discrimination
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