Send to

Choose Destination
Child Maltreat. 2009 Feb;14(1):17-26. doi: 10.1177/1077559508326030. Epub 2008 Oct 29.

Time to leave substantiation behind: findings from a national probability study.

Author information

George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St Louis, MO 63130, USA.


Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being, a national probability study of children and families investigated for child maltreatment, were analyzed to answer the question: Do substantiated and unsubstantiated cases differ in rates of recidivism over 36 months? Recidivism was classified as (a) any re-reports, (b) substantiated re-reports and (c) subsequent foster care placements. Bivariate (survivor functions estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method) and multivariate (Cox regression modeling) analyses were conducted. The results revealed that risk of recidivism was similar regardless of substantiation status of the index investigation. We suggest that the substantiation label be removed from field use. Instead, we suggest that agencies record service needs in the families they serve, and also record whether or not the family meets criteria for referral to the family court. These would be far more practical and meaningful ways to measure child welfare services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center