Societal Factors Affecting Child Welfare: poverty, income support, and race

Radha Jagannathan and Michael J. Camasso

in Protecting Children in the Age of Outrage

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780195176964
Published online May 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199332366 | DOI:
Societal Factors Affecting Child Welfare: poverty, income support, and race

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This chapter explains the extraagency forces that have been employed to measure poor child protective services (CPS) agency performance. It concentrates on poverty, racism, and welfare reform. Data show a strong connection between parental employment and incidence of maltreatment of children. In addition, poverty is a leading indicator of child maltreatment. The chapter also reveals that strong work incentive states display a much higher rate of maltreatment victims overall as well as higher rates of physical abuse, neglect, and fatalities relative to weak states. Furthermore, most of the studies regarded race as one of the determinants of decisions at the stages of reporting, investigation, substantiation, placement, and exit from care. Thus, poverty, welfare reform, and race had affected the rates of child maltreatment and the decisions of CPS workers who create those rates.

Keywords: child protective services; poverty; racism; welfare reform; child maltreatment; physical abuse; race

Chapter.  9715 words.  Illustrated.

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