Disproportionate Representation of African-American Children in Foster Care: Secondary Analysis of the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, 2005.
Knott, Theresa. Donovan, Kirsten.
Published: May 2010
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 32, No. 5 , p. 679-684
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Few studies utilize large national data sets to provide statistical estimates of the degree of disproportionate representation of African-American children placed in CPS foster care. The current study examined the association of African-American racial identity with foster care placement while controlling for child, caregiver, household and abuse characteristics. We conducted secondary analyses of the 2005 National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) on investigated reports of child abuse and neglect that received a maltreatment disposition in the reporting year, 2005. NCANDS 2005 Child File reflects case-level data based on the submissions of 48 states and the District of Columbia resulting in 3,461,872 investigations. Our unweighted study sample was restricted to 71,802 investigations of primary substantiated maltreatment in the reporting year 2005. A logit model was used to examine the association between foster care placement and racial identity. After controlling for child, caregiver, household and abuse characteristics African-American children had 44% higher odds of foster care placement when compared with Caucasian children. This study supports the cumulative evidence that African-American racial identity is a significant predictor of foster care services. Continued examination of the factors associated with foster placement is warranted to unravel the complex circumstances facing this vulnerable segment of children. (Author abstract)
African Americans; racial disproportionality; statistics; national surveys; foster care; child placement; child neglect; child abuse