The goal of child protective services is to identify, assess, and provide services to protect children, preserve families whenever possible, and prevent further maltreatment. It is important for child welfare practitioners to increase their understanding of the factors that contribute to patterns of maltreatment within families. This will enable child welfare workers, family support staff, and organizations to promote protective factors and address risk factors more effectively in ways that can benefit all families. Use these resources to help understand reoccurrences of child abuse or neglect and the interventions used to reduce recurrence of child abuse and neglect. Resources include State and local examples.
Latent Class Analysis Risk Profiles: An Effective Method to Predict a First Re-Report of Maltreatment?
Kim, Jonson-Reid, Kohl, Chiang, Drake, Brown, McBride, & Guo (2020)
Evaluation and Program Planning, 80
Presents the results of a study that uses a person-centered approach to identify families at low and high risk of recurrence of child maltreatment. Findings showed that using a person-centered assessment may be helpful for child welfare agencies wanting to target resources to the highest-need families and prevent maltreatment recurrence.
Parenting Programs for the Prevention of Child Physical Abuse Recurrence: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PDF - 672 KB)
Vlahovicova, Melendez-Torres, Leijten, Knerr, & Gardner (2017)
Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 20
Offers evidence supporting parental behavioral programs based on social learning theory to reduce the recurrence of child physical abuse.
Repeat Reports Among Cases Reported for Child Neglect: A Scoping Review
Jonson-Reid, Chiang, Kohl, Drake, Brown, Guo, Kim, & McBride (2019)
Child Abuse & Neglect, 92
Presents a review of studies of maltreatment recurrence with a focus on child neglect. The review aims to guide future research, child welfare practice, and policymaking by summarizing findings about the recurrence of neglect.
Sibling Child Protective Services Involvement Following a Child Maltreatment Fatality (PDF - 208 KB)
Corlis, Damashek, Meister, Richardson, & Bonner (2020)
Child Maltreatment, 25(1)
Examines the child protective services involvement of children who have had a sibling die from child maltreatment. Findings showed that surviving siblings were likely to be reported to child protective services and 81 percent of the original victims had siblings with subsequent maltreatment reports.
State and local examples
Child Maltreatment Re-Reporting, Recurrence, and Foster Care Re-Entry in Hennepin County (PDF - 4,093 KB)
University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (2020)
Shares the results of a study in Hennepin County, MN, that worked to identify interventions to address high rates of child maltreatment rereporting, recurrence, and foster care reentry. The study recommended three areas for practice improvement: administration, child welfare implementation, and the use of structured decision-making tools.
Reducing Maltreatment Recurrence Through Home Visitation: A Promising Intervention for Child Welfare Involved Families
Lee, Kirkland, Miranda-Julian, & Greene (2018)
Child Abuse & Neglect, 86
Investigates the long-term outcomes from a home visiting program, Healthy Families New York, and examines the program’s impact on preventing child maltreatment recurrence.
Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams for Families With Co-Occurring Substance Use and Child Maltreatment: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Hall, Kelmel, Huebner, Walton, & Barbee (2021)
Child Abuse & Neglect, 114
Discusses a study in Kentucky that investigated whether the Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) program had an impact on child welfare outcomes for families affected by substance use. Results showed that START reduced the recurrence of child maltreatment.