Are children safer with kin? A comparison of maltreatment risk in out-of-home care

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15 Scopus citations


Safety, or the absence of maltreatment, is the primary mandate of the child protection services (CPS) system, both for children living at home and those living away from home. Yet, few research studies have examined maltreatment in out-of-home care due to the low incidence rate and data limitations. This study used statewide administrative data to estimate the association between placement type and experiencing a maltreatment investigation or substantiation in out-of-home care. Over 6% of informal TANF-funded kinship placements experienced an investigation alleging maltreatment by an out-of-home caregiver, compared with just over 3% for formal kinship care and non-relative foster care. However, the monthly risk of maltreatment was lowest in informal kinship care because these placements tended to endure longer before maltreatment occurred. Substantiated maltreatment during an out-of-home placement was rare across all placement types. For both investigated and substantiated maltreatment, risk was highest in the first 3. months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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