44th Edition (August 2016)

Date Published

Lee, B., Rha, W., & Fallon, B. (2014). Physical abuse among Asian families in the Canadian child welfare system. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 23(5), 532-551.

This study examined differences in case characteristics and service dispositions in substantiated physical abuse investigations by comparing Asian families (East and Southeast Asian) to non-Asian families involved with the Canadian child welfare system.

Through secondary data analyses of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2003 (CIS-2003), the authors found a higher proportion of substantiated maltreatment investigations with physical abuse as the primary form of maltreatment for Asian families (67%) compared to investigations involving non-Asian families (37%). Further analysis was conducted for investigations where physical abuse was identified as the primary form of maltreatment. There were no significant differences in rates of physical harm, but in a significantly lower proportion of investigations involving Asian families (8% vs. 21% for non-Asian families), worker noted signs of mental or emotional harm. In addition, investigations of Asian families were less likely to involve families who had a history of previous reports than those involving non-Asian families (17% vs. 47%). Although no significant differences were found regarding transfers to ongoing services, a higher proportion of cases involving Asian families led to foster placement. Logistic regression was used to predict placement in out-of-home care, controlling for all significant clinical factors for cases of substantiated physical abuse involving Asian families. Findings indicated that the most significant predictor of child welfare placement was ethnicity, with an 11.25 times greater likelihood of placement for substantiated physical abuse investigations involving Asian families compared to those involving non-Asian families. Other significant predictors of child welfare placement included rates of physical harm, use of spanking as a form of discipline, and previous reports to child welfare. 

Harper, J., & Schmidt, F. (2012). Preliminary effects of a group-based tutoring program for children in long-term foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(6), 1176-1182.

A randomized wait-list control study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a small group-based direct instruction tutoring for children in foster care, using the Teach Your Children Well (TYCW) program. The program was delivered after school by university student volunteers for 2 hours each week, over a period of 25 weeks in total. Participants were deemed eligible to participate if they were in grades 2 through 8, residing in either kinship or foster care, and identified as being behind in academic achievement.  A total of 68 youth were referred by their child welfare case workers to participate – 33 of which were randomly assigned to receive the intervention, and the other 35 were assigned to the control group. The total sample primarily consisted of Aboriginal children (73.5%). Academic achievement was measured at pre-test and post-test using the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT-4), which measures word reading, sentence comprehension, spelling and math computation and yields a reading composite score. Analysis was conducted using ANCOVA, controlling for pre-test scores, revealed a significant effect on word reading (g = 0.42) and spelling (g = 0.38), but no significant effects were found on sentence comprehension and math computation. The authors indicate that there was some difficulty experienced in the implementation of the math component of the TYCW program, which may have resulted in a lower dose of mathematics tutoring and subsequently less improvement in the subject area. It is also suggested that the inclusion of interactive reading time with a caregiver may help improve sentence comprehension scores.