NSCAW, No. 8: Need for Early Intervention Services Among Infants and Toddlers in Child Welfare, Research Brief, Findings from the NSCAW Study

Published: January 15, 2007
Abuse, Neglect, Adoption & Foster Care
National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), 1997-2014 and 2015-2022 | Learn more about this project
NSCAW: Research Briefs

In this research brief, data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) are used to describe the need for early intervention services and IFSP receipt among infants and toddlers involved in CWS investigations. NSCAW is a national longitudinal study of the well-being of 5,501 children ages 14 and younger who had contact with the child welfare system within a 15-month period starting October 1999.

This research brief focuses on the 2,015 children who were infants or toddlers when they were first involved in investigations of maltreatment. The data used here were collected between 1999 and 2004 and are drawn from standardized measures of child development as well as caregiver and caseworkers interviews at baseline and at 12-, 18-, and 36-month follow-ups for all children who were under 3 at baseline in the NSCAW Child Protective Services (CPS) sample.

For the purpose of this report, the need for Part C services due to developmental delay is based on three standardized measures. The Battelle Developmental Inventory (BDI) measures cognitive skills such as perceptual discrimination, memory, reasoning, and conceptual development. The Preschool Language Scale-3 (PLS-3) measures sensory discrimination, memory and attention span, logical thinking, grammar, and vocabulary. The Daily Living Skills measure from the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale Screener (VABS) assesses self-help skills and the ability to complete activities of daily living (e.g., brushing teeth and using a spoon). Children were considered in need of Part C if they had extremely low scores on one of these tests or very low scores on two of the three. Consistent with the eligibility criteria of the majority of states, children were also considered in need if either caregivers or caseworkers reported an established medical condition that had a high probability of resulting in developmental delay.