A series of papers using data from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) explored the influence of clinical and organizational characteristics on the decision to place Aboriginal children in out-of-home placements at the conclusion of child maltreatment investigations. The purpose of this paper is to further explore a consistent finding of the previous analyses: the proportion of investigations involving Aboriginal children at a child welfare agency is associated with placement for all children in that agency. CIS-2008 data were used in the analysis, which allowed for inclusion of previously unavailable organizational and contextual variables. Multi-level statistical models were developed to analyze the influence of clinical and organizational variables on the placement decision. Final models revealed that the proportion of investigations conducted by the child welfare agency involving Aboriginal children was again a key agency-level predictor of the placement decision for any child served by the agency. Specifically, the higher the proportion of investigations of Aboriginal children, the more likely placement was to occur for any child. Further, this analysis demonstrated that structure of governance, an organizational-level variable not available in previous cycles of the CIS, is an important agency-level predictor of out-of-home placement. Further analysis is needed to fully understand individual and organizational level variables that may influence decisions regarding placement of Aboriginal children.
Child Abuse and Neglect, 49, 97-106