Developmental needs and individualized family service plans among infants and toddlers in the child welfare system

Cecilia E. Casanueva, Theodore P. Cross, Heather Ringeisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines levels of developmental need in young children investigated by child protective services, estimates early intervention service use, and examines need and service use variations during the 5-6 years after investigation on the basis of maltreatment substantiation status. Data were from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, the first nationally representative study of children investigated for maltreatment. The sample comprised 1,845 children aged 0 to 36 months at baseline. Logistic regression with covariate adjustment was used to examine the relationship between having an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP; a proxy and marker of early intervention services through Part C of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act) and substantiation status. A high prevalence of developmental problems was found among children with substantiated cases and children with unsubstantiated cases. Few children with developmental needs had an IFSP. Substantiation status and level of child welfare system involvement were significantly associated with having an IFSP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-258
Number of pages14
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Child and adolescent development
  • Children in child welfare
  • Infants
  • Logistic regression
  • Longitudinal research
  • Measure development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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