Cumulative Rates of Child Protection Involvement and Terminations of Parental Rights in a California Birth Cohort, 1999-2017.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Objectives. To document the cumulative childhood risk of different levels of involvement with the child protection system (CPS), including terminations of parental rights (TPRs).Methods. We linked vital records for California's 1999 birth cohort (n = 519 248) to CPS records from 1999 to 2017. We used sociodemographic information captured at birth to estimate differences in the cumulative percentage of children investigated, substantiated, placed in foster care, and with a TPR.Results. Overall, 26.3% of children were investigated for maltreatment, 10.5% were substantiated, 4.3% were placed in foster care, and 1.1% experienced a TPR. Roughly 1 in 2 Black and Native American children were investigated during childhood. Children receiving public insurance experienced CPS involvement at more than twice the rate of children with private insurance.Conclusions. Findings provide a lower-bound estimate of CPS involvement and extend previous research by documenting demographic differences, including in TPRs.Public Health Implications. Conservatively, CPS investigates more than a quarter of children born in California for abuse or neglect. These data reinforce policy questions about the current scope and reach of our modern CPS.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Putnam-Hornstein, E; Ahn, E; Prindle, J; Magruder, J; Webster, D; Wildeman, C

Published Date

  • June 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 111 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1157 - 1163

PubMed ID

  • 33856882

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8101595

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1541-0048

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-0036

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2105/ajph.2021.306214


  • eng