Characteristics of Young Parents Investigated and Opened for Ongoing Services in Child Welfare

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International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp. 365-381.

Fallon, Barbara
Ma, Jennifer
Black, Tara
Wekerle, Christine

Journal article
Canadian CW research

Children of young parents may be at increased risk of maltreatment. Young parents are more likely to live in poverty, lack caregiving skills, not complete a secondary school education, and misuse substances. This study explored the characteristics of young parents who were identified in a referral to child welfare services for maltreatment related concerns. Secondary analyses of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, 2008 (CIS-2008) were performed. The CIS collected data directly from child protection workers in a sample of agencies across Canada. Investigations involving caregivers 30 years of age and younger were used in the analysis. The largest category of caregivers under 30 years was biological mothers age 22 to 30 years old (81%). Investigations involving biological caregivers between 19 and 21 years of age were more likely to be transferred to ongoing services than those investigations involving biological caregivers between 22 to 30 years. The authors conclude that interventions should address the numerous issues young caregivers struggle with, including drug and alcohol misuse and housing issues.

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