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February 2013Vol. 14, No. 1Spotlight on Child Well-Being

The Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) released two new research briefs on child well-being. The first Spotlight on Child Well-Being focuses on the need for services for caregivers of children who remain in the home following a child maltreatment investigation. The second Spotlight is centered on the effects of maltreatment on adolescents' ability to transition to adulthood. Both briefs use data from the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW).

The first brief notes that roughly 86 percent of children who are the subject of a report of child abuse or neglect remain in the home following an investigation. According to NSCAW data, caregivers of these children face a number of challenges that may affect their ability to care for their children, shedding light on their need for services.

  • More than 29 percent of NSCAW in-home caregivers ages 18–25 suffered from substance abuse, in contrast to 20 percent of adults in the national comparison group.
  • More than 24 percent of NSCAW in-home caregivers were victims of intimate partner violence in the past 12 months, while less than 2 percent of adults in the comparison group were victims in the same timeframe.
  • Nearly 23 percent of NSCAW in-home caregivers suffered from major depression in the past 12 months, in contrast to less than 7 percent of adults in the comparison group.

Caregivers of Children Who Remain In-Home After a Maltreatment Investigation Need Services is available here: (318 KB)

The second Spotlight highlights NSCAW data suggesting that more than half of youth who were the subject of a maltreatment report are at risk for emotional or behavioral problems. Because children's services and the adult human services system differ in their support for people with maltreatment histories, the authors suggests that a range of services and interventions is needed to help youth in care prepare for successful transitions to adulthood.

Adolescents With a History of Maltreatment Have Unique Service Needs That May Affect Their Transition to Adulthood is available here: (275 KB)

Other recently released OPRE reports include: