After a Child Abuse Report::Early Adolescents and the Child Welfare System
AbstractChild welfare researchers long have advocated a developmental perspective in research, practice, and policy. However, this perspective rarely has been applied to the study of children older than the age of 6 years reported for maltreatment. The present study was an exploratory examination of whether child welfare system responses and recurrent reports varied as a function of age among older children: late childhood (7 through 10 years), early adolescents (11 through 14 years), and older adolescents (15 through 17 years). Data were drawn from computerized tracking systems of maltreatment reports and child welfare services. Descriptive analyses and logistic regression models of the decision to provide services and the likelihood of report recurrence are presented. Findings indicated that trends in report characteristics and service provision for early adolescents differ from other age groups. Implications for further research are presented.