We used National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System and Census data to examine Black–White and Hispanic–White disparities in reporting, substantiation, and out-of-home placement both descriptively from 2005–2019 and in multivariate models from 2007–2017. We also tracked contemporaneous social risk (e.g., child poverty) and child harm (e.g., infant mortality) disparities using non-child protective services (CPS) sources and compared them to CPS reporting rate disparities. Black–White CPS reporting disparities were lower than found in non-CPS risk and harm benchmarks. Consistent with the Hispanic paradox, Hispanic–White CPS reporting disparities were lower than risk disparities but similar to harm disparities. Descriptive and multivariate analyses of data from the past several years indicated that Black children were less likely to be substantiated or placed into out-of-home care following a report than White children. Hispanic children were slightly more likely to be substantiated or placed in out-of-home care than White children overall, but this difference disappeared in multivariate models. Available data provide no evidence that Black children were overreported relative to observed risks and harms reflected in non-CPS data. Reducing reporting rates among Black children will require addressing broader conditions associated with maltreatment.
- child maltreatment
- child protective services
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology