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February 2015Vol. 16, No. 1Educational Outcomes of Youth Involved With CPS

The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare's (CASCW's) Minnesota-Linking Information for Kids project published findings from a research study conducted in Minnesota that compared educational outcomes of youth involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) and/or who had experienced out-of-home placement (OHP) to those who had not experienced CPS involvement. The study also examined the influence of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status of youth on academic achievement. Child welfare-related data were derived from the State's Department of Human Services and education data from its Department of Education via the Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment.

In an effort to evaluate the link between academic achievement and CPS involvement, researchers created three groups of youth who attended school during the 2009–10 academic year:

  • The Child Protection (CP) group, which included youth who were involved in either a child protection or assessment case in Minnesota during or preceding that academic year, but who did not experience OHP
  • The OHP group, which included youth who had previous or existing CPS involvement and OHP
  • The General Population (GP) group, which included all children and youth from kindergarten through grade 12 who were not in the CPS or OHP groups

Findings showed a marked difference in academic achievement between the two groups with CPS involvement and the GP group. Youth in the CP and OHP groups showed lower achievement levels, particularly in reading and math, than youth in the GP group with no CPS involvement.

Read more about the study and its findings in the report brief Child Protection and the Achievement Gap, by Kristine Piescher, Gregg Colburn, Traci LaLiberte, and Saahoon Hong, available on the CASCW website at