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Dec/Jan 2008Vol. 8, No. 11NSCAW Reports on Special Health-Care Needs and Interventions

The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) has been collecting longitudinal data on child abuse and neglect since 1997, using firsthand information from victims, caregivers, and caseworkers to shed light on the short- and long-term effects of child maltreatment. Two new research briefs from NSCAW draw on years of data collection to focus on two populations involved with child welfare: children with special health-care needs and infants and toddlers in need of early interventions.

Special Health Care Needs Among Children in Child Welfare looks at child maltreatment victims who have chronic health conditions, special needs (e.g., autism, a learning disability, brain injury), or both. In this study, half of the children coming to the attention of the child welfare system for maltreatment were reported to have a chronic health condition or a special need or both over the course of 3 years. Children in out-of-home care had higher rates of these conditions than children in the general population. This report discusses the statistics as well as the need for early screening and treatment.

Need for Early Intervention Services Among Infants and Toddlers in Child Welfare reports that infants and toddlers in the child welfare system show higher rates of need for Part C early intervention services due to developmental delay or an established medical condition than do children in the general population. In this study, 35 percent of infants and toddlers were initially in need of these services, and those involved in unsubstantiated cases of child maltreatment showed an even higher need than those in substantiated cases. More broadly, the research brief examines who receives services and the impact of the Individual Family Service Plan.

View the reports on the NSCAW website: