Core Dataset Project: Child Welfare Service Histories. Description of Tables and Figures

04/08/1996

Figures 1 and 2 describe the flow that we are comparing between Michigan and Illinois for the period 1990 through 1994. All first contacts refer to the number of children that came in contact with the child welfare system for the first time in this time period - in Illinois, nearly half a million and in Michigan slightly over a quarter million children. The second box refers to the outcome of the investigations and the number of children who have substantiated or unsubstantiated cases of abuse or neglect. The last box refers to how many children out of the those that had first contacts were placed in foster care.

Tables 1 and 2 provide a more detailed look at the flow of children through the child welfare system based on the type” of first contact with the system. First contact refers to the series of CPS events a child experienced from first investigation (if any investigation) to the beginning of CWS (if any). In these tables, there are no time constraints on child histories such that, if a child experienced a series of investigations and/or child welfare cases over the course of a 3 year period, all of the child’s events would be included in the numbers. Since the children who entered the system in 1993 and 1994 have not been in the system as long as those who entered in earlier years, their full” histories are not as comparable.

Tables 3 and 4 are also based on type of first contact. However in this case, child histories are limited to the events that occur up to one year from date of entry. This standardizes the histories so that we can compare children who entered in 1990 to those who entered in 1993.

Table 5 looks at the number of children whose first contacts were substantiated or unsubstantiated by year of entry into the system.

Table 6 looks at the number of children who came into the system with a substantiated or unsubstantiated investigation between 1990 and 1994 and were placed in foster care.

Table 7 examines the relationship between the allegation at first indicated investigation and the placement that immediately follows.

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