A re-released study from RAND has concluded that a combination of increased prevention and treatment services will reduce child maltreatment two to four percent. The study, originally released in May and funded by the Pritzker Foster Care Initiative was re-released in December and draws its conclusions from a quantitative model that simulated how children enter and move through the nation’s child welfare system.
According to its authors, the study is, “the first attempt to integrate maltreatment risk, detection, pathways through the system, and consequences in a comprehensive quantitative model that can be used to simulate the potential impact of policy changes.”
The study investigates the three key policy alternatives: access to prevention services, family preservation treatment efforts and kinship care treatment efforts, and measures the effect of each policy option in reducing child maltreatment and improving young adult outcomes. According to the study, increasing prevention services decreases episodes of child maltreatment, the number of referrals to the child welfare system and the number of substantiated episodes. These measured decreases in each outcome ranged from two percent to four percent.
Increasing access to family preservation also had an effect, specifically in changing young adult outcomes. The study found family preservation decreased later substance abuse, criminal conviction, homelessness and underemployment. This decrease in each outcome ranged from 3.9 to 11.2 percent. Finally, the study examined the effect of kinship placements, which led to small increases in young adult outcomes noted above, ranging from 1.8 to 2.9 percent. To read the report, follow this LINK.