Parental cognitive impairment and child maltreatment in Canada

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Child Abuse and Neglect

Extant literature lacks research on prevalence and outcomes for children of parents with cognitive impairments who are involved with the child welfare system.  This study is a secondary analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) 2003 data, which has been utilized to explore the relationship between caregiver cognitive impairment and case outcomes.   Parental cognitive impairment was noted in over 10% of sampled cases that were opened for child maltreatment investigation in Canada in 2003.  Logistic regression results indicate that all else being equal (i.e., child characteristics, case characteristics, indicators of psychosocial risk) parental cognitive impairment substantially increased the odds of a case remaining open for ongoing protective services.  Additionally, parental cognitive impairment remains a statistically significant predictor of a court application in the child welfare process.  Authors suggest strategies to remove structural barriers, improve socio-economic status, and social support with increase the life chances of these children.

Canadian CW research
Journal article