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Early Childhood Development


National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, Cornell. 92 Local Child Welfare Agencies ... Abuse/neglect/poverty/violence ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Childhood Development

Early Childhood Development Related Policy
Implications Young Children in Child Welfare
  • Laurel K. Leslie, MD, MPH
  • Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy
  • Tufts-New England Medical Center
  • Presentation for the 12th National Conference on
    Children and the Law

  • The speaker does not have any financial ties to
  • These materials contain informational slides that
    will not be discussed during the presentation

Goal of this Presentation
  • Review what we know regarding
  • The Problem Developmental behavioral problems
    in young children in child welfare
  • Current service/treatment use
  • Information presented draws heavily on the NSCAW
    study (see next 5 slides)
  • Present a framework to guide development of
    community-based initiatives to improve outcomes

Background National Survey of Child and
Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW)
  • Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
    Reconciliation Act of 1996, Title V, Section 429A
    (PL 104-193)
  • Congressional mandate to the Secretary to conduct
    a national random sample study of child welfare
  • www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/abuse_neglect/nscaw

(No prior child welfare study has ever attempted
anything remotely this ambitious)
  • Extended Research Team includes
  • Research Triangle Institute
  • University of North Carolina
  • Caliber Associates
  • San Diego Childrens Hospital
  • CSRD, Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Duke Medical Center
  • U.C. Berkeley
  • National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect,
  • 92 Local Child Welfare Agencies
  • Children, Caregivers, and Teachers
  • Administration For Children and Families

NSCAW Cohort
Data Collection Timeline
Wave 1 Baseline Nov, 1999 Apr, 2001
Target population Children involved in
investigations closed between October 1, 1999 and
December 31, 2000
Wave 2 12 Month Follow-up Oct , 2000 Apr, 2002
Wave 3 18 Month Follow-up Apr, 2001 Sept, 2002
Wave 4 36 Month Follow-up Oct, 2002 Apr 30,
1999 2000 2001 2002
2003 2004
Data Sources
  • Children
  • Assessments by Field Representatives
  • Interviews (children 7 and older)
  • Caregiver (parent) interviews
  • Caseworker interviews
  • Teacher questionnaires
  • Agency administrators

Defining the Problem
  • Young children make up a substantial proportion
    of children in child welfare
  • 28 of children in out-of-home care in 2002 were
    age 5 or younger
  • Many children experiencing abuse /or neglect
    during early years of life when neurological
    development is most active vulnerable
  • Some experience out-of-home placement which may
    positively or negatively affect a childs
    neurological development

Are These Children at Risk?
  • Children with disabilities more vulnerable to
  • Possible genetic predisposition
  • Many of these children display environmental risk
    factors for developmental behavioral problems
  • Abuse/neglect/poverty/violence
  • Inadequate preventive health care so problems not
    prevented or identified (e.g. prenatal
    infections, lead exposure)
  • Parents with mental illness /or substance abuse
  • Parenting practices (harsh, inconsistent
    discipline lack of supervision limited
    reinforcement of appropriate prosocial skills)

NSCAW Study Different Risks by Child Setting
Percent Yes
Is there a Reason to Worry? Rates
  • For young children in child welfare, high rates
    of problems in multiple studies
  • Developmental problems as high as 60 compared
    to 4-10 in general population
  • Behavioral problems as high as 40 compared to
    3-6 in general population

NSCAW Other Disabilities in Young
Children?(Stahmer et al., 2005 percentages
indicate scores 14
Developmental/Behavioral Measures 0-5 years
  • Developmental
  • Neurodevelopmental
  • Bayley Infant Neurodevelopmental Screener (13-24
  • Cognition
  • Battelle Developmental Inventory (ages 0-4 years)
  • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (ages 4-5 years)
  • Speech/Language
  • Preschool Language Scale (ages 0-6 years)
  • Behavioral
  • Child Behavior Checklist (ages 18 months-5 years)
  • Social Skills Rating Scale Prosocial Scale (ages
    3-5 years)
  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (all ages)

Mental Health/Developmental Overlap in Young
Children (Stahmer et al., 2005 percentages
indicate scores
  • Next steps
  • Define specific subgroups of need
  • Examine how need changes over time
  • Examine if service use has any impact on need

  • 16
    Is There a Reason to Worry? Placement Patterns
    • For children in out-of-home care,
    • Behavior problems associated with increased
      placement disruptions
    • (James et al., 2004)
    • Developmental behavioral problems correlated
      with longer lengths of stay in out-of-home care,
      less reunification, less adoption
    • (Horowitz et al., 1994 Landsverk et al., 1996)

    Is There Reason to Worry? Outcomes
    • For older youth in child welfare, many face
      academic difficulties, high school drop-out
      rates, mental health issues, delinquency, risky

    Diurnal HPA axis activity
    (downregulation via chronic stress)
    Note Low daytime activity does not infer a
    blunted HPA stress response (see Kaufman et al.,
    Do foster children show atypical patterns of HPA
    axis activity?
    Bruce, Fisher, Pears, Levine (submitted)
    Dozier et al. (in press)
    The Good News
    • Brain is highly adaptive malleable during these
      early years
    • Growing body of scientific evidence pointing to
      the potential for early intervention in young
    • Intensive services with preschoolers in child
      welfare can normalize these cortisol patterns
    • (Fisher et al., 2006)

    Programs Applicable to Young Children in Child
    Welfare I
    • Medical
    • Medicaid (www.cms.hhs.gov/medicaid/)
    • Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and
      Treatment (EPSDT) program in Medicaid
    • Title V Maternal and Child Health Services
    • Child Welfare
    • Title IV-E Title IV-B for children families
      in child welfare (http//www.acf.dhhs.gov)

    Programs Applicable to Young Children in Child
    Welfare II
    • Social Services
    • Title XX Social Services Block Grant
    • Special Education
    • IDEA Special Education Services (3-21 years)
      Early Intervention services (0-2 years)
    • State-based mental health developmental
      disability programs

    Child Service Use in NSCAW Sample
    • Caregiver report of service use
    • Overall only 22.7 of children using services
    • Primary care (p
    • 0-2 yr olds 4.8
    • 3-5 yr olds 10.6
    • Mental health (p
    • O-2 yr olds 4.9
    • 3-5 yr olds 17.5
    • Special education (p
    • 0-2 yr olds 7.0
    • 3-5 yr olds 16.3

    What May be Going On? I
    • Poor identification of children with problems
    • No systematic approach
    • For children in out-of-home care, 94 of child
      welfare agencies screened for physical health
      problems, but only 47.8 screened for mental
      health problems, and only 57.8 screened for
      developmental problems (Leslie et al., 2004)
    • Accuracy of assessments
    • High use of community providers to assess needs
    • Limited use of tools clinical judgment detects
      less than 1/3 of developmental problems 50 of
      emotional problem

    What May be Going On? II
    • Difficulty linking children to available services
    • Poor communication different cultures/agendas
      between different agencies
    • Lack of a clearly identified case manager
    • Placement changes if in out-of-home care
    • Fiscal challenges faced by most public agencies
    • Child or family may not meet eligibility criteria
      for public program

    What May be Going On? III
    • Not accessing evidence-based care
    • Most interventions that work are very intensive
    • Few studies of interventions in children in child
    • Limited use of available caregivers as
      therapeutic agents, particularly foster parents
    • What should be the role of child welfare?
    • For the majority of children investigated, there
      is only fleeting involvement with child welfare.
      How much well-being is the responsibility of
      child welfare agencies when they have limited
      contact over time with a family?

    Part II.
    • Finding Solutions

    Models of Care I
    • Improved identification
    • Multidisciplinary assessment centers
      Philadelphia Waterbury, CT Syracuse, NY
      Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego (http//gucchd.geor
    • Additional components
    • Standardized tools, community partners, case
      management, trainings, MOUs for shared
      information/confidentiality protection

    Models of Care II
    • Improved linkages between agencies
    • Health Passports
    • Placement coordinators
    • Shared information systems
    • Health units within child welfare agencies
    • Court oversight of health, development, mental
      health, educational needs

    Models of Care III
    • Caregivers as therapeutic agents
    • Carolyn Webster-Stratton in-home caregivers
      with youth with disruptive disorders
    • Philip Fisher, Patti Chamberlin foster
      caregivers with youth with developmental-behaviora
      l problems treatment foster care programs

    • Problems
    • Limited outcome studies to show these programs
      link children or improve their outcomes
    • Difficult to achieve in highly urban areas or
      rural areas
    • Working out the details
    • Funding

    Importance of Identifying Community Partners
    • Some are mandated to address these issues may
      provide critical funding or staffing
    • Often need education on each others cultures
      on the specific needs of children in child
    • Public advisory boards serve to hold agencies

    Who are Potential Partners?
    • Medical Medicaid, Title V, public health nursing
    • Child welfare
    • Special education early intervention services
    • Mental health
    • Developmental disabilities
    • Community groups CASA, others
    • Foundations, businesses, academic institutions

    Importance of Defining Scope of Program
    • Which children placement? Age? Location?
    • What types of problems?
    • Immediate or staged implementation?
    • How staffed?
    • What types of tools will be used
    • What are specific barriers we need to address?

    Importance of Outcomes
    • To demonstrate what you do works
    • To get additional funding
    • To help other communities as they seek to find

    Other Sources of Information I
    • Written materials
    • Silver, J. Amster, B.J., Haecker, T. Young
      Children and Foster Care. Paul H. Brookes 1999.
    • Shonkoff J.P. Mesiels, S.J. eds. Handbook of
      Early Child hood Intervention. Cambridge U.
      Press 2000.
    • Shonkoff, J.P. , Phillips, D.A. From Neurons to
      Neighborhoods. National Academies Press. 2000
    • Leslie, L.K., Gordon, J.N., Lambros, K., Premji,
      K., Peoples, J., Gist, K. Addressing the
      developmental and mental health needs of young
      children in foster care. Journal of
      Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 26
      140-151, 2005.

    Other Sources of Information II
    • Websites
    • CWLA (www.cwla.org)
    • ACF on NSCAW study (http//www.acf.hhs.gov/program
    • Georgetown Technical Assistance
    • AAP (www.aap.org)
    • AACAP (www.aacap.org)

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