Statutes from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia were the primary sources of information for this report. Each state’s statutes were accessed via the Internet—usually through the state legislature’s Website. As of this writing, all of the statutes were current through at least 2003. This report is not intended to be a legal
This report focuses on laws that criminalize voluntary sexual acts involving a minor that would be legal if not for the age of one or more of the participants. The report does not include laws where the legality of the sexual acts is dependent on the relationship of the participants (e.g., incest, sex between teachers and students or doctors and p
Unlike most rape laws, in which force is a key element of the offense, statutory rape laws assume that all sexual activities with individuals below a certain age are coercive, even if both parties believe their participation is voluntary. Generally, statutory rape laws define the age below which an individual is legally incapable of consenting to
 The Alan Guttmacher Institute (1994). Sex and America’s Teenagers. New York.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is concerned about the health of adolescents, including unwanted sexual contact at a young age. For example, research finds that:
Work on this project was funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a contract to The Lewin Group. This report benefited greatly from the oversight and input of Jerry Silverman, the ASPE Project Officer.
The Complexities of Kinship Care: Key Findings from the 2013 National Survey of Children in Nonparental Care
This is a one page summary of a report published in May 2016. The summary presents key takeaway messages from the report which describes the characteristics and experiences of the approximately 2.3 million U.S. children who live with neither biological nor adoptive parents. Analyses are based on the 2013 National Survey of Children in Nonparenta
This is a one page summary of a research brief published in June 2016. The study sought to determine whether children in counties that more frequently use alternative responses to respond to child maltreatment reports are more or less likely to be re-reported to child protective services and/or confirmed to have been victims of subsequent abuse
Differential Response and the Safety of Children Reported to Child Protective Services: A Tale of Six States
Differential response (DR) is an increasingly common model for how child protective services agencies address reports of child maltreatment. Differential response systems seek to be less adversarial than traditional child protective services by separating incoming referrals into two (or more) tracks. Families with low to moderate risk and safety t
An Intervention for Welfare Recipients with Substance Abuse Problems
There is little solid evidence that programs aimed at preventing out-of-home placements or reunifying families with children in foster care have the intended effects. Results of nonexperimental studies have been misleading and the findings of controlled studies in these areas are mixed. Some studies involved samples that were so small that it woul
A Synthesis of Research on Family Preservation and Family Reunification Programs. Correlates of Reunification and Reentry
Several researchers have examined characteristics that are associated with reunification. Some studies have focused on clients in programs aimed at facilitating reunification, although most have examined factors associated with "natural" reunifications (that is, the return home from regular foster care). These studies do not support causal inferen