Developmental Status and Early Intervention Service Needs of Maltreated Children: Research Brief. Service Receipt

03/01/2008

In the NSCAW we examined the proportion of substantiated infants and toddlers reported to have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), a formal document indicating eligibility for Part C services and an agreement between service providers and caregivers regarding the type and amount of services to be provided.

  1. Even though this study looked at children served before the CAPTA mandates were instituted, a sizeable proportion of infants and toddlers with substantiated maltreatment were reported to have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), reflecting eligibility for Part C services.  About 12 months after the investigation of maltreatment, 28% of children still younger than 36 months of age were reported by caseworkers to have an IFSP.
  2. Families are receiving parent training and family counseling services through Child Welfare Services or by referral.  It is unclear the extent to which these services provide interventions focused on enhancing child development. Approximately 39% to 67% of the families of infants and toddlers with substantiated cases of maltreatment received parent training or family counseling through child welfare systems in the period of time prior to the 18-month follow-up. Between 18 months and 36 months after baseline, the percentage of families reported to still be receiving parent training or family counseling decreased, ranging from 9% to 31%, suggesting that for some children and families the needs for these services was no longer critical or they may have completed a time-limited or structured intervention.

    Receipt of Child Welfare Services suggests that as children get older there may be less perceived need for parent training. The proportion of families reported to receive family counseling also declines in this time period. Receipt of services appears to be related temporally to the time of initial investigation. This reduction in services may be associated with the effectiveness of services in reducing risk factors, particularly those associated with conditions in the home directly associated with substantiation of maltreatment. Alternatively, this reduction may indicate a declining ability of services to engage families.

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