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ERIC Number: EJ987244
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Substitute Care Entry: The Relationship between Race or Ethnicity and Levels of County Organization
Jantz, Ian; Rolock, Nancy; Leathers, Sonya J.; Dettlaff, Alan J.; Gleeson, James P.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v36 n11-12 p771-781 Nov-Dec 2012
Objective: Past studies demonstrate a relationship between race and the likelihood of children entering state custody subsequent to a maltreatment investigation. Research also shows that community structural characteristics such as poverty and residential mobility are correlated with entry rates. The combined effect, however, of race and community characteristics on substitute care entry is unclear. We analyzed 3 years of Illinois child welfare administrative and county-level structural data to assess the combined effect of child characteristics and level of community organization on substitute care entry. Methods: Based on county indicators of crime, socioeconomic status, residential mobility, and child care burden, a latent profile analysis classified Illinois counties into three levels of social organization (high, moderate, and low). To test the relationship between community and child level predictors of substitute care entry, a dichotomous variable representing substitute care entry was regressed onto county level and individual covariates (child age, race or ethnicity, gender, and allegation). To test the combined relationship of community and individual level characteristics, interactions between county level of organization and race were explored. Results: Like previous studies, results showed that individual factors of race, age, and allegation were associated with the decision to place children in substitute care. Also consistent with past research, they revealed a general trend in which decreasing levels of social organization were associated with relatively higher odds of entry to care. The magnitude of this effect at each level of social organization, however, varied by race, with African American children in disorganized communities experiencing the greatest risk of removal. Conclusions: These findings suggest that efforts to understand the decision to place a child in substitute care may need to be community specific. In particular the level of community organization may influence the response of the system to maltreatment investigations. In communities with different characteristics and across racial groups, child welfare systems may need to examine decision making processes regarding children's removal from parental care. (Contains 1 figure and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois