Childrens Report Card

Sacramento County Childrens Coalition

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Child Abuse and Neglect

Referrals to Sacramento County Child Protective Services have declined somewhat consistently over the past seven years, as have the number of substantiated referrals.It is unknown if this is the product of a decrease in the occurrence of child abuse and neglect, or a decrease in the capacity of referral sources as well as responding agents. Great disparities exist between races/ethnicity's in terms of substantiated referrals and entries to foster care that must be further investigated in order to create the change needed to counter these disparities.

Referrals to Child Protective Services (CPS)

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Why is this important?

  • Children who are abused or neglected are at higher risk for affects such as physical, mental, and emotional conditions, impaired school performance, physical disabilities/impairments, poor self-esteem, difficulty with close relationships, fear, hostility, and inappropriate sexual behavior.
  • The Child Welfare Information Gateway projects that victims of abuse are 11% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile than non-abused children and 2.7 times more likely to be arrested as an adult.
  • Additionally, they estimate that one-third of abused and neglected children will go on to victimize their own child.

How are we doing?

  • The number of CPS referrals in Sacramento County has decreased by 26% over the last decade.
  • The rate of referrals per 1,000 children has declined even more dramatically, from a rate of 70.4 to 58.5 in 2011.
  • The rate of substantiated referrals has been reduced by more than half (from 18.5 to 8.1) over the last 10 years.
  • The proportion of referrals found to be substantiated has decreased from 23% in 2003 to 14% in 2012.
  • The rate of substantiated referrals per 1,000 children is slightly lower in Sacramento County (8.1) than the State overall (8.9).

Substantiated Referrals by Type

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Why is this important?

  • Children can be victims of numerous different types of abuse and neglect. The warning signs are different for all types of abuse and neglect, as are the affects on the child.
  • Providers – particularly mandated reporters – as well as the public at large must be well-aware of the signs of abuse and neglect.

How are we doing?

  • Two allegation types - general neglect and physical abuse  - accounted for more than 8 in 10 (83%) of all substantiated child abuse allegations.
  • The proportion of allegations substantiated due to physical abuse in Sacramento County (22%) is 2 and a half times the statewide proportion (9%).

Entrance to Foster Care by Age

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Why is this important?

  • On average, children who spend time in the foster care system experience worse life outcomes in a number of areas, including educational attainment, employment, income, and criminal justice.

How are we doing?

  • 1,233 children entered foster care in Sacramento County in 2012.
  • The youngest children are the most vulnerable, as evidenced by the fact that children under the age of 1 enter the foster care system at more than 3 times the rate that would be expected according to population size (20% of all entries but only 6% of the population).
  • More than half (52%) of foster care entries are children 5 and under.

Foster Care by Removal Reason

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Why is this important?

  • Reporting only indicates the primary cause of removal from the home, and there may be other issues of concern upon further examination.

How are we doing?

  • As is true with the State, the overwhelming majority of placements in foster care are due to neglect.
  • 90% of children, who entered foster care before their first birthdays, were placed due to neglect in Sacramento County.
  • The likelihood of physical abuse being the cause of removal increases with the age of the child.

Foster Care by Race/Ethnicity

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Why is this important?

  • Dramatic disparities in rates of foster care entries exist between races/ethnicity's. There is insufficient understanding of the root causes of the disparate outcomes, but findings do indicate a need to target research and prevention efforts.

How are we doing?

  • In Sacramento County (and California overall), African Americans are over represented in the foster care system (10.8% of the population, but 34.5% of entries to foster care).
  • Conversely, Asian Americans are under represented in the foster care system (15% of the population , but 6.5% of entries to foster care).
  • There has been little change to the disproportion over the past decade (and beyond).

Data Source: Center for Social Sevices Research

Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 12:06