NSCAW II Wave 2 Report: Child Well-Being

Publication Date: July 15, 2012


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 5,872 children ranging in age 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. Face-to-face interviews or assessments were conducted with children, parents and nonparent adult caregivers (e.g., foster parents, kin caregivers, group home caregivers), and investigative caseworkers. Baseline data collection began in March 2008 and was completed in September 2009. Additional information about the NSCAW II history, sample design and methods, instrumentation, as well as a summary of differences between the NSCAW I and NSCAW II cohorts can be found in the first report of this NSCAW II Baseline series.

Wave 2 is a follow-up of children and families approximately 18 months after the close of the NSCAW II index investigation. The NSCAW II cohort of children who were approximately 2 months to 17.5 years old at baseline ranged in age from 16 months to 19 years old at Wave 2. Data collection for the second wave of the study began in October 2009 and was completed in January 2011.

This report reflects revisions since the original publication date. Revisions were made to Exhibits 7, 8, 11, 20-23, 25, 29, and 36; and to the corresponding text.

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