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June 2013Vol. 14, No. 5Final Report on NSCAW II Wave 2

The Administration for Children and Families' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation released the final report on Wave 2 of the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW II). NSCAW II is a longitudinal study that examines the functioning, service needs, and service use of children who come in contact with the child welfare system.

Researchers for NSCAW II collected data between March 2008 and September 2009 on a sample of 5,873 children ranging in age from birth to 17.5 years. Interviews were conducted with children, caregivers, and child protective services investigators. Wave 2 is a follow-up with these children and families after 18 months when the cohort ranged in age from 16 months to 19 years old. Wave 2 data were collected between October 2009 and January 2011. While Wave 1 included interviews with investigative workers for each child in the sample, Wave 2 included interviews with service workers.

OPRE's final report details experiences of a subset of children and families who came into contact with child welfare between the baseline and Wave 2 interviews. Caseworkers reported on the service needs, referrals, and receipt of services for the child and for the child's in-home caregiver or reunification caregiver. Some of the report's findings include the following:

  • More than 80 percent of children were reported as having at least one service need, the most frequent of which were health exams and immunizations.
  • Three-quarters of caregivers were reported as having at least one service need.
  • More than half of all caregivers were in need of mental health services.
  • Compared to current reunification or reunification-effort caregivers, in-home caregivers were less likely to need of or referred for mental health services, substance use services, housing assistance, or legal aid.
  • In-home caregivers and current reunification caregivers were more likely to receive domestic violence services.

NSCAW II Wave 2 Report: Children and Families Receiving Child Welfare Services Post-Baseline is available on the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation website: (595 KB)