News

Instability and Early Life Changes Among Children in the Child Welfare System (NSCAW Study)

Are you raising a child who entered the foster care system during infancy?  Did your child experience trauma during his or her early life?  This study looks at the effects of high levels of stress and trauma on the development of infants and young children.
“This is the eighteenth in a series of NSCAW research briefs focused on children who have come in contact with the child welfare system. Additional research briefs focus on the characteristics of children in foster care, the provision of services to children and their families, the prevalence of special health care needs, use of early intervention services, and caseworker judgment in the substantiation process.” – NSCAW

From the Children’s Bureau Express website: The Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) released a research brief exploring the stability of caregivers and households of infants in out-of-home care. Based on data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), a longitudinal study of children at risk of abuse or neglect or already in the child welfare system, the brief focused on 1,196 children who were infants involved in investigations of abuse or neglect and were followed until they reached 5–7 years old. Data were collected from 1999 to 2007 and through interviews with caregivers and caseworkers.

Specifically, researchers sought to find answers to the following questions:

  • How common are caregiver and household changes that last 1 week or longer for infants involved in a maltreatment investigation?
  • How many changes in caregivers and households occur during the first 2 years of life and up to the time that children enter school?
  • What are the characteristics of these children and their families?
  • Are some children at increased risk for experiencing a caregiver or household change or a higher number of changes?

Click here for: Early Life Research Brief 2012

One of the interventions suggested in the NSCAW brief is Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up Intervention (ABC Intervention.)  Click here to access the evidence-based ABC website.