NSCAW II Baseline Report: Local Agency

Publication Date: December 15, 2011


The second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW II) is a longitudinal study intended to answer a range of fundamental questions about the functioning, service needs, and service use of children who come in contact with the child welfare system. The study is sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It examines the well-being of children involved with child welfare agencies; captures information about the investigation of abuse or neglect that brought the child into the study; collects information about the child’s family; provides information about child welfare interventions and other services; and describes key characteristics of child development. Of particular interest to the study are children’s health, mental health, and developmental risks, especially for those children who experienced the most severe abuse and exposure to violence.

The study includes 5,873 children ranging from birth to 17.5 years old at the time of sampling. Children were sampled from child welfare investigations closed between February 2008 and April 2009 in 83 counties nationwide. The cohort includes substantiated and unsubstantiated investigations of abuse or neglect, as well as children and families who were and were not receiving services. Infants and children in out-of-home placement were oversampled to ensure adequate representation of high-risk groups.

This report focuses on data collected from local agencies participating in NSCAW II. Beginning in May 2009, field representatives contacted agency directors to request an in-person interview. The Local Agency Director Interview (LADI) is designed to gather detailed information on the agency’s characteristics, staffing, policies, caseload and populations served, and services provided to families. The LADI is a paper-and-pencil interview with an administration time of approximately 60 minutes.


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