Children in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Child-Only Cases with Relative Caregivers. 3.2.3 Analysis

06/01/2004

Demographics

The study team examined the demographic characteristics of the children in each group, focusing on the variables included in Table 3-4. More than half the children in each group (except OTHER) are 5 years of age or less; the low mean age suggests that this group is highly skewed toward children aged 2 or less.

Table 3-3.
Definitions of TANF Eligibility by Income Range and Household Size
Household Size Federal Poverty Level
for Household Size
NSCAW Maximum
for Income Category
Difference
1 8,350 4,999 3,351
2 11,250 9,999 1,251
3 14,150 12,500 1,650
4 17,050 17,500 (450)
5 19,950 17,500 2,450
6 22,850 22,500 350
7 25,750 22,500 3,250
8 28,650 27,500 1,150

Table 3-4.
Demographic Characteristics of Children by Group(a)
(all numbers percentage except mean age)
TANFCOR TANFCOP TANFHH LOWINC KINCARE FOSTER OTHER
Male 0.60 0.55 0.53 0.47 0.35* 0.55 0.52
Mean Age (Years) 2.35 2.29 2.56 2.70 2.42 2.24 2.72
Less than 1 Year 31.48 36.84 21.63 17.73 24.34 35.99 14.62
1 to 5 31.48 38.95 32.24 33.61 32.46 23.94 32.54
6 to 10 20.37 14.74 27.79 29.10 23.90 24.11 27.61
11 and Over 16.67 9.47 18.35 19.57 19.30 15.96 25.23
Substantiated Investigation 0.52 0.21 0.31 0.29 0.57 0.71 0.28
White 0.55 0.43 0.25** 0.47 0.44 0.41 0.56
Black 0.31 0.34 0.42 0.25 0.33 0.34 0.22
Hispanic 0.06 0.06 0.25*** 0.20 0.16 0.18 0.16
Other 0.08 0.17 0.08 0.07 0.07 0.08 0.06
In Home 0.32 1.00*** 1.00*** 0.98 0.22 0.00*** 1.00
***: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.01 level.
**: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.05 level.
*: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.10 level.
(a): Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), a national survey of children who have been investigated for abuse or neglect.

KINCARE children tend to be female, while the other groups tend to have a fairly even balance between male and female. TANFHH children are less likely than TANFCOR children to be white and more likely to be Hispanic. TANFCOP and TANFHH children are more likely to be at home, while FOSTER children are less likely. Children in nonkin foster placements are more likely to have substantiated child welfare investigations than children in the other groups.

Variables Related to Child Well-Being

NSCAW collects a number of measures of child well-being that include the following areas of function: cognitive status, neurodevelopmental impairment, communication, school achievement, school engagement, relationships with peers, protective factors, and parental monitoring. Because each of these instruments has a specified age range, some measures are not available for some groups of children. This analysis uses the measures shown in Table 3-5, which were selected to maximize data on various aspects of child well-being across the sample age range.

Table 3-5.
Summary of Child Well-Being Measures by Age(a)
Measure Age
0 1 2 3 4 to 5 6 7 to 10 11 to 15
Social Skills Rating System       X X X X X
Child Behavior Checklist     X X X X X X
Children's Depression Inventory             X X
Preschool Language Scale-3 X X X X X      
Battelle Developmental Inventory X X X X        
Youth Self-Report               X
Total 2 2 3 4 4 3 4 5
(a): Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), a national survey of children who have been investigated for abuse or neglect.

Table 3-6 shows that TANFCOR children tended to have the highest percentile scores and standardized scores for social skills in preschool. For standardized scores, TANFCOR children scores were significantly higher than those of children in the KINCARE, FOSTER, and TANFHH groups. Children in the TANFCOP, LOWINC and OTHER groups had scores that were not significantly different from those of the TANFCOR children. In the measures of well-being that address social skills and developmental status, higher scores are better scores. For problem-focused measures, such as the Child Behavior Checklist, the opposite is true.

Children in TANF child-only cases with relative caregivers score somewhat higher on developmental indicators, but also have some indicators of behavioral and mental health problems.

The TANFCOR group scored very well on the perceptual discrimination section of the Battelle Developmental Inventory, relative to the other children. TANFCOP children and TANFHH children both scored lower on this part, with a significance difference at the 10 percent level. No significant differences were observed among the various categories of children for the other sections of the Inventory, such as memory, reasoning and academic skills, and conceptual development. TANFCOR children also scored well on the reasoning and academic skills section and the conceptual development section, though no significant differences were noted. Furthermore, while there were no significant differences across the groups, TANFCOR children had the highest rating for their language skills.

On the child behavior checklist, where higher scores reflect more behavior problems, younger children in the TANFCOR group had significantly higher scores than the TANFHH and KINCARE groups. Although there were no significant differences between percentile scores for child behavior among the different groups of older children, a different pattern was observed. FOSTER children scored the highest, and the TANFCOR children scored the lowest except for the OTHER children.

Similarly, no significant differences were observed among the children's depression levels or their trauma symptoms, although TANFCOR children had relatively high scores on depression and trauma symptoms compared to other children. On the behavior section of the Youth Self Report, where again higher scores indicate more problems, TANFCOR children scored relatively well. The TANFCOP, FOSTER, and LOWINC children all reported higher scores than the TANFCOR children. The KINCARE group scored significantly higher at the 10 percent level, and the TANFHH group scored significantly higher at the 1 percent level from the TANFCOR children.

Table 3-6.
Measures of Well-Being(a)
  TANFCOR TANFCOP TANFHH LOWINC KINCARE FOSTER OTHER
Social Skills Rating System
PS: Social Skills Percentile-Preschool 50.74 23.87*** 28.24 34.60 32.26 23.53 32.89
PS: Social Skills Standard-Preschool 100.53 87.18 87.68*** 91.28 89.43*** 85.34*** 90.45
Battelle Developmental Inventory
BD: Perceptual Discrimination-Percentile 46.09 14.34* 18.99* 23.07 26.17 28.35 24.54
BD: Memory-Percentile Score 23.74 28.87 28.90 25.43 27.61 30.76 28.12
BD: Reason and Academic Skills-Percentile 34.92 19.51 19.47 24.75 26.13 31.50 19.44
BD: Conceptual Develop.-Percentile 40.55 24.87 21.09 26.13 18.70 30.22 26.62
Preschool Language Scale
CO: Total Langu (Aud/Express) Std. Score 98.91 85.91 86.28 87.54 91.71 88.43 89.72
Child Behavior Checklist
TC: Total Percentile (0-4) 82.17 75.09 69.94*** 59.65 64.17*** 82.88 53.44
BC: Total Percentile Score (4-18) 68.62 73.25 73.03 69.49 69.55 82.00 67.25
Children's Depression Inventory
CD: Depression: Total CDI Raw 11.20 8.31 9.68 11.37 8.59 11.18 9.14
Trauma Symptom Checklist
TR: Trauma: PTS Raw Score 13.46 9.07 8.40 8.61 8.28 9.89 8.32
TR: Trauma: PTS T Score 57.85 49.40 49.32 49.50 48.93 52.03 49.00
Youth Self-Report
YB: Behavior Probability: Total Raw Score 29.46 37.40 48.10*** 46.59 43.59* 41.83 45.73
***: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.01 level.
**: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.05 level.
*: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.10 level.
(a): Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), a national survey of children who have been investigated for abuse or neglect.

Overall, the one area that seems problematic for the TANFCOR group is in reports of depression and trauma, although these differences are not statistically significant. In terms of social skills, problem behavior, and development, TANFCOR children scored as well or better than the other groups of children.

Variables Related to Service Use

NSCAW provides a wide range of data on services received by the child (Table 3-7) and by the caregiver (Table 3-8). Data on services received through the child welfare system are included in subsequent waves of data collection and are not reported here.

Children in TANF child-only cases with relative caregivers were less likely to use emergency health care than other children.

For many of the service use categories, no significant differences were reported by different groups of children. These service categories include seeing a dentist; taking a vision test; going to the ER or urgent care unit for an illness; requiring a nurse or doctor to treat an injury, accident, or poisoning; and being tested for learning problems. TANFCOR children did well in rates of hearing tests, with children in the FOSTER group using this service significantly less. TANFCOR children also had a relatively low rate for overnight hospital admissions for an illness or injury, while KINCARE, FOSTER, and TANFHH children had significantly more admissions. FOSTER and TANFHH children were more likely to be currently enrolled in a daycare program than TANFCOR children, at a significance level of 5 percent. FOSTER children were also more likely to be diagnosed with a learning problem or disability by a professional than TANFCOR children. TANFCOR children were significantly less likely to be receiving special education services or enrolled in special education classes compared to children in the KINCARE, FOSTER, TANFCOP and TANFHH groups.

There were no great differences in WIC coverage across the different groups of children. TANFCOR children were more likely to receive food stamps than FOSTER children, but less likely than TANFCOP children. These differences were statistically significant. KINCARE and FOSTER children were less likely to be receiving TANF funds or other public assistance, whereas TANFCOP and TANFHH children were more likely to receive housing support than TANFCOR children. TANFCOP children were significantly (p < 0.10) more likely to be in a household that receives SSI; not surprisingly, since this would qualify the household for child-only TANF benefits. Similarly, KINCARE and FOSTER were more likely to receive foster care payments.

Table 3-7.
Child-Reported Service Use(a) (for Children over age 11 during the past year)
  TANFCOR TANFCOP TANFHH LOWINC KINCARE FOSTER OTHER
Child saw dentist/hygienist 64% 43% 60% 53% 58% 51% 59%
Child had vision test 55% 65% 74% 71% 56% 48% 72%
Child had hearing tested 70% 57% 77% 78% 55% 51%* 76%
Child admitted to hospital overnight for injury or illness 1% 3% 7%*** 8% 5%** 7%*** 4%
Child went to ER or urgent care for injury or illness 22% 42% 36% 42% 28% 31% 35%
Child had injury/accident or poisoning requiring doctor or nurse 5% 16% 9% 10% 7% 6% 11%
Child currently in any daycare program 21% 15% 28%** 27% 26% 30%** 30%
Child tested for learning problems 41% 27% 37% 41% 25% 38% 36%
Professional says child has learning problem or disability 12% 11% 28% 25% 27% 34%** 20%
Child currently receiving special education services or classes 17% 74%* 80%*** 80% 81%*** 89%*** 78%
***: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.01 level.
**: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.05 level.
*: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.10 level.
(a): Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), a national survey of children who have been investigated for abuse or neglect.

Table 3-8.
Caregiver Reported Program Use(a)
  TANFCOR TANFCOP TANFHH LOWINC KINCARE FOSTER OTHER
WIC 40% 52% 45% 33% 35% 37% 18%
Food Stamps 8% 88%*** 90% 50% 17% 04%*** 16%
TANF, AFDC, General Assistance/ Other Public Assistance 100% 100% 99% 7% 22%*** 04%*** 0%
Housing Support 3% 18%*** 26%*** 13% 4% 2% 5%
SSI 13% 38%* 20% 22% 26% 12% 13%
No One Receives Anything 0% 0% 0% 26% 39%* 51%* 58%
***: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.01 level.
**: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.05 level.
*: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.10 level.
(a): Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), a national survey of children who have been investigated for abuse or neglect.

Table 3-9 shows that all groups of children received peer support at relatively the same levels. TANFHH children, however, did use a drop-in community youth center more often. This is perhaps due to their older age.

Table 3-9.
Percent Reporting Social Services Received by Children(a)
Question Response TANFCOR TANFCOP TANFHH LOWINC KINCARE FOSTER OTHER
Peer Support Group Yes 13% 31% 31% 33% 19% 28% 23%
Drop-In Community Youth Center(b) Yes 9% 2% 32%*** 29% 12% 22% 27%
***: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.01 level.
**: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.05 level.
*: Significantly different from TANFCOR at the 0.10 level.
(a): Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), a national survey of children who have been investigated for abuse or neglect.
(b): For children over 11 years old.

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