Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report - Volume Two. 4.2.4 Previous Allegations and Placement


Historical reports of maltreatment and historical records of placement in substitute care were contained within the administrative data files. Three hundred and thirty-one (95%) of the families had been investigated for maltreatment prior to random assignment. Two hundred and eighty-three (81%) of the families had experienced at least one substantiated allegation prior to random assignment. (59) The administrative files reported four types of allegations; physical abuse, neglect, sexual maltreatment, and other. The allegation just prior to random assignment was of primary interest. This particular allegation provides some indication of reason for referral to

Table 4-3
Concerns and Problems Regarding Children, Philadelphia Caretaker
Initial Interview (% responding yes regarding any child that the respondent cares for)
  N %
Asked about all children
Child went through alcohol withdrawal at birth 262 3
Child went through drug withdrawal when born 262 8
Child doesn't show much interest in what is going on 259 17
Child is smaller/lighter than other children 262 21
Child get(s) upset easily 259 59
Asked for children over 3 months old
Is/Are funny and makes you laugh 251 99
Like(s) to share things with others 248 90
Throw(s) tantrums 251 70
Is/are shy and withdrawn 251 36
Is/are outgoing and friendly 252 97
Is/are good looking 252 100
Fight(s) a lot with other kids 247 31
Has/have language problems 246 18
Asked for children over 4 years old
Is/are very aggressive toward you 217 33
Has/have a special talent in music 217 51
Like(s) animals 217 95
Is/are good at sports 216 79
Usually does the right thing 217 86
Hangs with friends you don't like 215 25
In the past 3 months, has any child you care for
Gone to church regularly 216 42
Been absent from school a lot 207 19
Run away from home overnight 199 5
Been temporarily suspended from school 205 22
Been expelled from school 205 4
Taken care of younger children 204 36
Took something that didn't belong 216 24
Absent from school/no good reason 205 9
Received special education at school 206 25
Failed any classes 205 25
Received counseling 205 28
Asked for any child over age 7
In the last 3 months, has any child been arrested 174 7
Asked only for children over age 10
Has child age 11 or older had alcohol problems 115 0
Has child age 11 or older had a drug problem 114 4
Has any girl age 12 to 18 been pregnant 57 4
Has any boy age 14 to 18 fathered a child 19 0

family preservation. The distribution of last substantiated allegation prior to random assignment is as follows: 29 percent physical abuse, 66 percent neglect, 2 percent sexual maltreatment, and 3 percent other.

Regarding substitute care placement, 131 children in 63 (18%) families had experienced placement prior to random assignment. For these cases, on average, 42.5 months elapsed between the last day of care and random assignment. In the placement spell just prior to random assignment the average length of time in substitute care was 6.7 months. (60)

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