Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report - Volume Two. 9.1.2 Child Safety


In general, the rates of substantiated allegations of abuse or neglect were quite low. In most of our analyses, there was little difference between the family preservation and control groups in the incidence of reports of maltreatment subsequent to random assignment. An exception was the group of cases in Tennessee with prior allegations of harm within 30 days before random assignment. For this set of families, the control group had a significantly higher rate of subsequent substantiated allegations.

The findings of little difference between the experimental and control group can be read in two ways. It indicates that families served by family preservation were no more likely than families not receiving the service to be subjects of allegations of harm. In this sense, children were, by and large, kept safely at home while receiving family preservation services. However, children in both groups were primarily in their homes, and family preservation did not result in lower incidence of maltreatment compared with children in the control group.

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