Title

Child Maltreatment Fatalities: Predicting Rates and the Efficacy of Child Welfare Policy

Publication Date

2011

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Scientists have studied child maltreatment fatalities (CMFs) for several decades, yet little research has examined the social context in which CMFs occur and whether prevention efforts are effective. Using state-level data from 2006–2008, we examine the social context in which CMFs occur and conduct a five-year follow-up to a study that found media attention predicted CMF-related legislation (Douglas, E. M. 2009. Media coverage of child maltreatment fatalities: Does it result in state legislative change intended to prevent future fatalities?. Journal of Policy Practice, 8(3): 224-239.). The results indicate that the social context in which children live are important; poverty and region are the strongest predictors of CMFs and states that passed legislation to prevent future maltreatment fatalities did not experience a decline in the death rate. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

Original Citation

Douglas, E.M., McCarthy, S.C. (2011). Child Maltreatment Fatalities: Predicting Rates and the Efficacy of Child Welfare Policy. Journal of Policy Practice, 10(2), 128-143. https://doi.org/10.1080/15588742.2011.555323