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February 2012Vol. 13, No. 1Characteristics of Rereport Risk Factors

A recent article in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, "Recidivism in the Child Protection System," explores possible risk clusters and characteristics associated with substantiated rereports of abuse of children who remain in the home following an initial report of abuse. What makes this study unique is that, unlike other risk association studies that focus on single rereport factors, here the authors focused on multiple factors within single families.

Data were drawn from the National Survey for Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW). Study participants were 2,578 children from birth to 14 years old, recruited from 92 child protective service (CPS) agencies throughout the nation, and who remained with their primary caregiver following an abuse report. During the 5-year follow-up period, cases were examined at 1, 1.5, 3, and 5 years for new reports of abuse. A number of child, caregiver, and family characteristics were explored.

The study found that:

  • Of the children studied, 44 percent were rereported during the 5-year follow-up.
  • Rereports were significantly higher for children aged 3–10 years and for children with behavior problems and developmental disabilities.
  • Caregivers who were younger or had an abuse history or a history with CPS were more likely to have rereports.
  • Families with active domestic violence were less likely to have rereports.
  • Families earning less than $20,000 a year were more likely to have repreports.

Identifying clusters of characteristics associated with rereports may help agencies allocate resources to high-risk families.

"Recidivism in the Child Protection System," by Suzanne Dakil, Christina Sakai, Hua Lin, and Glenn Flores, was published in the November (volume 165, issue 11) issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

The article abstract can be found online: