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Type: Journal article
Title: Reading and numeracy attainment of children reported to child protection services: A population record linkage study controlling for other adversities
Author: Laurens, K.
Islam, F.
Kariuki, M.
Harris, F.
Chilvers, M.
Butler, M.
Schofield, J.
Essery, C.
Brinkman, S.
Carr, V.
Green, M.
Citation: Child Abuse and Neglect, 2020; 101:104326-1-104326-15
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 0145-2134
Statement of
Kristin R.Laurens, Fahkrul Islam, Maina Kariuki, Felicity Harris, Marilyn Chilvers ... Sally A.Brinkman ... et al.
Abstract: Background: Maltreated children are at risk of poor educational outcomes, but also experience greater individual, family, and neighbourhood adversities that may obscure an understanding of relationships between child protection involvement and educational attainment. Objective: To examine associations between child protection involvement and 3rd- and 5th-grade reading and numeracy attainment, while controlling multiple other adversities. Participants and Setting Participants were 56,860 Australian children and their parents from the New South Wales Child Development Study with linked multi-agency records. Methods: Multinomial logistic regressions examined associations between level of child protection involvement (Out-Of-Home Care [OOHC] placement; substantiated Risk Of Significant Harm [ROSH]; unsubstantiated ROSH; non-ROSH; and no child protection report) and standardised tests of 3rd- and 5th-grade reading and numeracy. Fully adjusted models controlled demographic, pregnancy, birth, and parental factors, and early (kindergarten) developmental vulnerabilities on literacy and numeracy, and other developmental domains (social, emotional, physical, communication). Results: All children with child protection reports were more likely to attain below average, and less likely to attain above average, 3rd- and 5th-grade reading and numeracy, including children with reports below the ROSH threshold. Children with substantiated ROSH reports who were not removed into care demonstrated the worst educational attainment, with some evidence of protective effects for children in OOHC. Conclusions: A cross-agency response to supporting educational attainment for all children reported to child protection services is required, including targeted services for children in OOHC or with substantiated ROSH reports, and referral of vulnerable families (unsubstantiated and non-ROSH cases) to secondary service organisations (intermediate intervention).
Keywords: Academic achievement; out-of-home-care; child maltreatment; childhood adversity; educational support
Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
RMID: 1000013955
DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104326
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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