NSCAW II Baseline Report: Maltreatment, Final Report

Published: August 15, 2011
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 II: Baseline Reports

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 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, Introduction of this NSCAW II Baseline series.

The purpose of this third NSCAW II Baseline Report is to describe the characteristics of the index maltreatment report for children at the first wave of data collection (baseline) and past year aggression or violence in the home. Included are descriptions of the most serious types of maltreatment reported by caseworkers, the level of caseworker perceived harm and risk to the child, and the outcome of the investigation. The second section of this report provides information on parents’ and children’s description of violence and aggression toward the child.