Performance Improvement 2009. What Development Needs Do Children Investigated by Child Protective Services Have and Do These Children Receive Early Intervention?


This descriptive study characterized the extent to which maltreated children had developmental problems or were subject to factors associated with poor developmental outcomes, what services these children might be eligible to receive, what factors influenced service receipt, and what solutions had been devised to address barriers to service provision. A growing body of evidence suggests that many infants and toddlers in the child welfare system have developmental and behavioral problems but do not receive the services they need. Federal law requires that infants and toddlers with substantiated child maltreatment reports be referred to early intervention services funded.

The study found that children ages birth to three who have been maltreated were at substantial risk of experiencing developmental problems and a higher proportion of these children tended to be described as having environmental and biomedical risks or having a low score on a developmental measure. Maltreated children between two and three years old had high levels of behavior problems. While families were receiving parent training and family counseling services through child welfare service or by referral, the extent to which these services provided interventions focused on enhancing child development was unclear.

Report Title: Developmental Status and Early Intervention Service Needs of Maltreated Children: Final Report
Agency Sponsor: ASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact: Sarah Potter, 202-260-0382
Performer: Institute for Social and Economic Development
PIC ID: 8570

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"PerformanceImprovement2009.pdf" (pdf, 1.26Mb)

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