Increasing availability of linked child welfare and Medicaid data can advance research on the intersections of child welfare and Medicaid. The project, Child and Caregiver Outcomes Using Linked Data (CCOULD), developed a research-use dataset combining child welfare records and Medicaid claims for children and families involved in child welfare systems in Florida and Kentucky. This brief aims to increase usage of CCOULD data by researchers, drawing attention to the capacity of the data to answer pertinent research questions, and assist researchers in maximizing the utility of the data and navigating limitations.
- Research at the nexus of child welfare system engagement and Medicaid utilization has many benefits including, improving services coordination for children and families engaged in these systems, preventing child abuse and neglect and child welfare system involvement, and improving health and child well-being outcomes.
- The CCOULD dataset consists of 16 files containing specific information pertaining to child welfare engagement or Medicaid utilization from Kentucky and Florida, over the 2016-2021 period. The data include records for over 1,000,000 children, and over 85,000 caregivers with children engaged with child welfare services.
- Among others, research topics that CCOULD can be used to address include:
- The prevalence of substance use disorders (SUD) among children and caregivers engaged in child welfare systems.
- The relationship between SUD or mental health conditions and child welfare system engagement.
- The relationship between services provided through Title IV-E (e.g., family support, case management, SUD treatment, etc.) and child and caregiver child welfare and health outcomes.
- Medicaid spending for child welfare engaged families.
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