Determinants of maltreatment substantiation in a sample of infants involved with the child welfare system

Journal article
Canadian CW research

Williams, Gabriela
Tonmyr, Lil
Jack, Susan M.
Fallon, Barbara
MacMillan, Harriet L.

Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp. 1345-1353.

Infants under one year of age are vulnerable to child maltreatment, possibly resulting in negative physical and mental health outcomes. This study used data from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2003 (CIS-2003) to examine investigations involving children less than one year of age (N=793, unweighted). Logistic regression analysis indicated that caregiver characteristics such as substance abuse, lack of social supports, the presence of criminal activity, and poor physical health were associated with the substantiation of neglect. Positive toxicology at birth was found to be significantly associated with the substantiation of neglect. Referrals from police and health professionals were also significantly associated with substantiation rates. The authors suggested that the high rates of substantiation and risk-indicators associated with the infant population indicate a need for evidence-based prevention programs.

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