ARCHIVED - Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2008

 

 


Chapter 5 - Characteristics of Children and Families

Nico Trocmé, Barbara Fallon, Bruce MacLaurin, Vandna Sinha, Tara Black, Elizabeth Fast, Caroline Felstiner, Sonia Hélie, Daniel Turcotte, Pamela Weightman, Janet Douglas, and Jill Holroyd

This chapter provides a description of cases of substantiated maltreatment27 in terms of the characteristics of the children, their caregivers and their homes. The estimates presented in this chapter are weighted Canadian estimates derived from child maltreatment investigations conducted in 2008 in a representative sample of Canadian child welfare sites. The sampling design and weighting procedures specific to the study should be considered before inferences are drawn from these estimates. The estimates do not include (1) incidents that were not reported to child welfare, (2) reported cases that were screened out by child welfare before being fully investigated, (3) new reports on cases already opened by the child welfare site, (4) cases that were investigated only by the police, and (5) cases that were investigated because of concerns about future risk of maltreatment (see Chapter 2 for a full description of the inclusion and exclusion criteria). Readers are cautioned that the findings presented in this chapter are not directly comparable to findings presented in the CIS-2003 and CIS-1998 reports (Chapter 1).

Age and Sex of Children in Maltreatment-Related Investigations and Substantiated Maltreatment

Table 5-1 presents the children’s age and sex in all maltreatment-related investigations as well as in substantiated child maltreatment investigations. The incidence of all maltreatment-related investigations was nearly identical for males (38.69 investigations per 1,000 children) and females (39.66 per 1,000 children). There was some variation by age and sex in the incidence of investigated maltreatment, with rates being highest for infants (52.00 investigations per 1,000 female infants and 51.63 per 1,000 male infants). Rates of maltreatment-related investigation were similar by sex for four to seven year olds (41.75 and 41.72 per 1,000 for females and males, respectively).

 

TABLE 5-1: Child Age and Sex in Child Maltreatment Investigations and Risk of Future Maltreatment Investigations, and in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-1

The estimated incidence of all maltreatment-related investigations was nearly identical for males (38.69 investigations per 1,000 children) and females (39.66 per 1,000 children). There was some variation by age and sex in the incidence of investigated maltreatment, with rates being highest for infants (52.00 investigations per 1,000 female infants and 51.63 per 1,000 male infants). For additional information, refer to pages 36-37.

TABLE 5-1: Child Age and Sex in Child Maltreatment Investigations and Risk of Future Maltreatment Investigations, and in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
  All investigations* Substantiated maltreatment**
Child’s
age group
Sex of child Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children***
% Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children***
%
0–15 years All Children  235,840  39.16 100%  85,440  14.19 100%
  Female 116,504 39.66 49% 42,588 14.50 50%
Male 119,336 38.69 51% 42,852 13.89 50%
0–3 years Female  29,507  44.72 13%  10,611  16.08 12%
Male  31,688  45.87 13%  10,799  15.63 13%
< 1 Year Female 8,568 52.00 4% 2,894 17.56 3%
Male 8,933 51.63 4% 2,880 16.64 3%
1 Year Female 7,247 44.26 3% 2,633 16.08 3%
Male 8,713 50.75 4% 2,908 16.94 3%
2 years Female 6,727 40.39 3% 2,557 15.35 3%
Male 7,491 43.04 3% 2,785 16.00 3%
3 years Female 6,965 42.26 3% 2,527 15.33 3%
Male 6,551 38.07 3% 2,226 12.93 3%
4–7 years Female  28,537  41.75 12%  10,472  15.32 12%
Male  29,867  41.72 13%  10,944  15.29 13%
4 years Female 7,356 44.30 3% 2,439 14.69 3%
Male 6,758 38.90 3% 2,676 15.40 3%
5 years Female 6,836 40.73 3% 2,558 15.24 3%
Male 7,559 42.84 3% 2,523 14.30 3%
6 years Female 7,358 42.18 3% 2,638 15.12 3%
Male 7,937 43.50 3% 3,181 17.43 4%
7 years Female 6,987 39.87 3% 2,837 16.19 3%
Male 7,613 41.54 3% 2,564 13.99 3%
8–11 years Female  26,218  34.50 11%  8,820  11.61 10%
Male  31,838  39.79 13%  11,335  14.17 13%
8 years Female 6,147 34.24 3% 1,812 10.09 2%
Male 8,323 44.26 4% 3,341 17.77 4%
9 years Female 6,795 36.64 3% 2,568 13.85 3%
Male 7,992 40.64 3% 3,005 15.28 4%
10 years Female 6,948 35.54 3% 2,164 11.07 3%
Male 7,981 39.07 3% 2,683 13.13 3%
11 years Female 6,328 31.74 3% 2,276 11.42 3%
Male 7,087 33.56 3% 2,306 10.92 3%
12–15 years Female  32,242  38.68 14%  12,685  15.20 15%
Male  26,398  30.09 11%  9,774  11.14 11%
12 years Female 6,870 34.13 3% 2,704 13.43 3%
Male 7,202 33.91 3% 2,690 12.67 3%
13 years Female 7,697 37.30 3% 3,093 14.99 4%
Male 6,758 31.14 3% 2,623 12.09 3%
14 years Female 9,300 44.10 4% 3,621 17.12 4%
Male 6,532 29.55 3% 2,305 10.43 3%
15 years Female 8,375 38.91 4% 3,267 15.18 4%
Male 5,906 26.02 3% 2,156 9.50 3%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
*    Based on a sample of 15,980 child maltreatment-related investigations.
**   Based on a sample of 6,163 substantiated child maltreatment investigations.
*** Rates are based on: Age and sex for the population of Canada, provinces, territories, census divisions and subdivisions, 2006 Census - 100% Data (table). Topic-based Tabulations on Statistics Canada
Catalogue no. 97-551-XCB2006011. Ottawa. July 17, 2007.
^    Percentages are column percentages.

 

The incidence of substantiated maltreatment was nearly identical for males (13.89 per 1,000) and females (14.50 per 1,000). There was some variation by age and sex in the incidence of substantiated maltreatment, with rates being highest for infants (17.56 substantiated cases per 1,000 females and 16.64 per 1,000 males). Rates of substantiated maltreatment were similar by sex for four to seven year olds, while there were more males reported in the 8 to 11 year old group and more females reported in the adolescent group.

 

 

Documented Child Functioning

The child functioning checklist (Appendix F and definitions below) was developed in consultation with child welfare workers and researchers to reflect the types of concerns that may be identified during an investigation. The checklist is not a validated measurement instrument for which population norms have been established.28 It documents only problems that are known to investigating child welfare workers and therefore may undercount the occurrence of some child functioning problems.29

Workers were asked to indicate problems that had been confirmed by a diagnosis and/or directly observed by the investigating worker or another worker, or disclosed by the parent or child, as well as issues that they suspected were problems but could not fully verify at the time of the investigation. The six-month period before the investigation was used as a reference point where applicable. It is important to note that these ratings are based on the initial intake investigation and do not capture child functioning concerns that may have become evident after that time. Items were rated on a 4-point scale: “confirmed,” “suspected,” “no” and “unknown” child functioning concern. A child functioning concern was classified as confirmed if a problem had been diagnosed, observed by the worker or another worker, or disclosed by the caregiver or child. An issue was classified as suspected if worker’s suspicions were sufficient to include the concern in their written assessment of the family or in a transfer summary to a colleague. For the purposes of the present report, the categories of confirmed and suspected have been collapsed. A comparison of the ratings will be made in subsequent analyses.

Child functioning in physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural domains was documented with a checklist that included the following:

Depression/Anxiety/Withdrawal: Feelings of depression or anxiety that persist for most of every day for two weeks or longer, and interfere with the child’s ability to manage at home and at school.

Suicidal Thoughts: The child has expressed thoughts of suicide, ranging from fleeting thoughts to a detailed plan.

Self-Harming Behaviour: Includes highrisk or life-threatening behaviour, suicide attempts or physical mutilation or cutting.

ADD/ADHD: Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/ impulsivity that occurs more frequently and more severely than is typically seen in children at comparable levels of development. Symptoms are frequent and severe enough to have a negative impact on children’s lives at home, at school, or in the community.

Attachment Issues: The child does not have a physical and emotional closeness to a mother or preferred caregiver. The child finds it difficult to seek comfort, support, nurturance or protection from the caregiver; the child’s distress is not ameliorated or is made worse by the caregiver’s presence.

Aggression: Behaviour directed at other children or adults that includes hitting, kicking, biting, fighting, bullying others or violence to property, at home, at school or in the community.

Running (multiple incidents): Has run away from home (or other residence) on multiple occasions for at least one overnight period.

Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour: Child displays inappropriate sexual behaviour, including age-inappropriate play with toys, self or others; displaying explicit sexual acts; age-inappropriate sexually explicit drawing and/or descriptions; sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge; prostitution or seductive behaviour.

Youth Criminal Justice Act Involvement: Charges, incarceration, or alternative measures with the Youth Justice system.

Intellectual/Developmental Disability: Characterized by delayed intellectual development, it is typically diagnosed when a child does not reach his or her developmental milestones at expected times. It includes speech and language, fine/gross motor skills, and/or personal and social skills, e.g., Down’s syndrome, autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

Failure to Meet Developmental Milestones: Children who are not meeting their development milestones for a non-organic reason.

Academic Difficulties: Include learning disabilities that are usually identified in schools, as well as any special education program for learning difficulties, special needs, or behaviour problems. Children with learning disabilities have normal or above-normal intelligence, but deficits in one or more areas of mental functioning (e.g., language use, numbers, reading, work comprehension).

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAS/FAE): Birth defects, ranging from mild intellectual and behavioural difficulties to more profound problems in these areas related to in utero exposure to alcohol abuse by the biological mother.

Positive Toxicology at Birth: When a toxicology screen for a newborn is positive for the presence of drugs or alcohol.

Physical Disability: Physical disability is the existence of a long-lasting condition that substantially limits one or more basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting or carrying. This includes sensory disability conditions such as blindness, deafness or a severe vision or hearing impairment that noticeably affects activities of daily living.

Alcohol Abuse: Problematic consumption of alcohol (consider age, frequency and severity).

Drug/Solvent Abuse: Include prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and solvents.

Other: Any other conditions related to child functioning.

Table 5-2 presents the distribution of functioning issues in substantiated maltreatment investigations. In 46% of investigations (an estimated 39,460 investigations or 6.55 investigations per 1,000 children), at least one issue was indicated by the worker. Academic difficulties were the most frequently reported functioning concern (23%) and the second most common was depression/anxiety/withdrawal (19%). Fifteen percent involved aggression, while 14% indicated attachment issues. Eleven percent of investigations involved children experiencing ADD/ ADHD and 11% intellectual/ developmental disabilities.

 

TABLE 5-2: Child Functioning Concerns in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-2

Child functioning across physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural domains was documented with a checklist of 18 issues that child welfare workers were likely to be aware of as a result of their investigation. Because the checklist documents only issues that child welfare workers became aware of during their investigation, the occurrence of these issues may have been underestimated. The six-month period before the investigation was used as a reference point. For additional information, refer to pages 36 and 38.

In an estimated 46% of substantiated child maltreatment investigations (or 39,460), at least one child functioning issue was indicated. The six most frequently reported child functioning issues were: academic difficulties (23%), depression/anxiety/withdrawal (19%), child aggression (15%), attachment issues (14%), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (11%), and developmental disabilities (11%).

TABLE 5-2: Child Functioning Concerns in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Child Functioning Concern Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
No child functioning concerns 45,980 7.64 54%
No child functioning concerns 45,980 7.64 54%
Type of child functioning concerns
Depression/anxiety/withdrawal 16,310 2.71 19%
Suicidal thoughts 3,511 0.58 4%
Self-harming behaviour 5,095 0.85 6%
Attention deficit disorder/attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) 9,101 1.51 11%
Attachment issues 11,797 1.96 14%
Aggression 13,237 2.20 15%
Running (multiple incidents) 3,588 0.60 4%
Inappropriate sexual behaviours 3,453 0.57 4%
Youth criminal justice act involvement 1,789 0.31 2%
Intellectual/developmental disability 9,805 1.63 11%
Failure to meet developmental milestones 7,508 1.25 9%
Academic difficulties 19,820 3.29 23%
Fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol effect (FAS/FAE) 3,177 0.53 4%
Positive toxicology at birth 845 0.14 1%
Physical disability 1,428 0.24 2%
Alcohol abuse 2,704 0.45 3%
Drug/solvent abuse 3,474 0.58 4%
Other functioning concern 3,484 0.58 4%
At least one child functioning concern 39,460 6.55 46%
Total substantiated investigations 85,440 14.19 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^  Based on a sample of 6,163 substantiated child maltreatment investigations. Percentages are column percentages. Columns are not additive as investigating workers could identify more than one
child functioning concern.

 

 

Aboriginal Heritage of Investigated Children

Aboriginal heritage was documented by the CIS-2008 in an effort to better understand some of the factors that bring Aboriginal children into contact with the child welfare system. Aboriginal children were identified as a key group to examine because of concerns about their over-representation in the foster care system (Trocmé et al., 2006). Table 5-3 shows that the rate of substantiated child maltreatment investigations was four times higher in Aboriginal child investigations than non-Aboriginal child investigations (49.69 per 1,000 Aboriginal children versus 11.85 per 1,000 non- Aboriginal children).

 

Aboriginal Heritage of Children in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-3

An estimated 22% of substantiated investigations (or 18,510) involved children of Aboriginal heritage, as follows: 15% First Nations status, 3% First Nations non-status, 2% Métis, 1% Inuit and 1% with other Aboriginal heritage. For additional information, refer to pages 38-39.

TABLE 5-3: Aboriginal Heritage of Children in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Aboriginal Heritage Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
First Nations, status 12,751 NA 15%
First Nations, non-status 2,561 NA 3%
Métis 1,828 NA 2%
Inuit 893 NA 1%
Other Aboriginal 477 NA 1%
Subtotal: all Aboriginal  18,510 49.69 22%
Non-Aboriginal 66,930 11.85 78%
Total substantiated investigations  85,440 14.19 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^    Based on a sample of 6,163 substantiated child maltreatment investigations. Percentages are column percentages.
NA Child population counts by category is not available.

 

Twenty-two percent of substantiated investigations involved children of Aboriginal heritage, with the following distribution among Aboriginal groups: 15% First Nations status, 3% First Nations Non-Status, 2% Métis, 1% Inuit, and 1% with other Aboriginal heritage.

Primary Caregiver Age and Sex

For each investigated child, the worker was asked to indicate the primary caregiver, and to specify her/his age and sex. Eight age groups were captured on the Intake Face Sheet, enabling the workers to estimate the caregiver’s age (Appendix F). Table 5-4 shows the age and sex distribution of primary caregivers. In 91% of substantiated investigations the primary caregiver was female. Nearly half (45%) of substantiated investigations involved caregivers between the ages of 31 and 40. Caregivers who were under 22 were relatively rare (5%), as were caregivers over 50 (4%).

 

TABLE 5-4: Age and Sex of Primary Caregiver in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-4

Table 5-4 shows the age and sex distribution of primary caregivers. In an estimated 91% of substantiated investigations, the primary caregiver was female. Nearly half (45%) of substantiated investigations involved caregivers between the ages of 31 and 40. Caregivers who were under 22 were relatively rare (5%), as were caregivers over 50 (4%). For additional information, refer to page 39.

TABLE 5-4: Age and Sex of Primary Caregiver in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Age of primary caregiver Sex of primary caregiver Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
< 16 years Female – – 0%
Male – – 0%
16-18 years Female 934 0.16 1%
Male – – 0%
19-21 years Female 3,003 0.50 4%
Male – – 0%
22-30 years Female 23,448 3.89 28%
Male 1,305 0.22 2%
31-40 years Female 34,595 5.74 41%
Male 3,316 0.55 4%
41-50 years Female 12,214 2.03 14%
Male 2,481 0.41 3%
51-60 years Female 1,855 0.31 2%
Male 493 0.08 1%
> 60 years Female 514 0.09 1%
Male 123 0.02 0%
Total Female 76,597 12.72 91%
Male 7,760 1.29 9%
Total substantiated investigations 84,357 14.01 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^  Based on a sample of 6,060 substantiated child maltreatment investigations with information about primary caregiver’s age and sex. Percentages are column percentages.
–  Estimates of less than 100 investigations are not shown, but are included in the total.

 

Primary Caregiver’s Relationship to the Child

The CIS-2008 gathered information on up to two of the child’s parents or caregivers living in the home.30 For each listed caregiver, workers were asked to choose a primary caregiver and the category that described the relationship between the caregiver and each child in the home. If recent household changes had occurred, workers were asked to describe the situation at the time the referral was made. The caregiver’s relationship to the child was classified as one of the following: biological parent, parent’s partner, foster parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, and other.

Table 5-5 describes the primary caregiver’s relationship to the child in substantiated maltreatment investigations in Canada in 2008. Ninety-four percent of substantiated investigations involved children whose primary caregiver was a biological parent, and 2% lived with a primary caregiver who was a parent’s partner or an adoptive parent. Two percent of substantiated child investigations involved a grandparent as primary caregiver and 1% involved children living with a primary caregiver who had an alternate relationship to the child.

 

TABLE 5-5: Primary Caregiver’s Relationship to the Child in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-5

An estimated 94% of substantiated investigations involved children whose primary caregiver was a biological parent, 2% a parent’s partner or an adoptive parent, 2% a grandparent and 1% a primary caregiver who had an alternate relationship to the child. For additional information, refer to pages 40-41.

TABLE 5-5: Primary Caregiver’s Relationship to the Child in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Primary caregiver’s relationship to the child Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
Biological mother 73,303 12.17 86%
Biological father 7,256 1.20 8%
Parent's partner 1,191 0.20 1%
Foster parent 366 0.06 0%
Adoptive parent 464 0.08 1%
Grandparent 2,032 0.34 2%
Other 764 0.13 1%
Total substantiated investigations 85,376 14.18 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^  Based on a sample of 6,159 substantiated child maltreatment investigations with information about primary caregiver’s relationship to the child. Percentages are column percentages, and may not add to 100% because of rounding.

 

 

Primary Caregiver Risk Factors

A checklist of caregiver risk factors (Appendix F and definitions below) was developed in consultation with child welfare workers and researchers to reflect the types of concerns that may be identified during an investigation. Concerns related to caregiver risk factors were reported by workers using a checklist of nine items that were asked about each caregiver. Where applicable, the reference point for identifying concerns about caregiver risk factors was the previous six months. Items were rated into four categories: “confirmed,” “suspected,” “no” and “unknown” caregiver risk factor. A caregiver risk factor or family stressor was classified as confirmed if a problem had been diagnosed, observed by the worker or another worker, or disclosed by the caregiver. An issue was classified as suspected if workers’ suspicions were sufficient to include the concern in their written assessment of the family or in a transfer summary to a colleague. For the purposes of the present report, the categories of confirmed and suspected have been collapsed. A comparison of the ratings will be made in subsequent analyses. The checklist is not a validated instrument. The checklist documents only problems that are known to investigating child welfare workers (workers were asked to check all that apply).

The checklist included:

Alcohol Abuse: Caregiver abuses alcohol.

Drug/Solvent Abuse: Abuse of prescription drugs, illegal drugs or solvents.

Cognitive Impairment: Caregiver has a cognitive impairment.

Mental Health Issues: Any mental health diagnosis or problem.

Physical Health Issues: Chronic illness, frequent hospitalizations or physical disability.

Few Social Supports: Social isolation or lack of social supports.

Victim of Domestic Violence: During the past six months the caregiver was a victim of domestic violence including physical, sexual or verbal assault.

Perpetrator of Domestic Violence: During the past six months the caregiver was a perpetrator of domestic violence including physical, sexual or verbal assault.

History of Foster Care or Group Home: Caregiver was in foster care and or group home care during his or her childhood.

Table 5-6 shows that in 78% of substantiated maltreatment investigations (an estimated 66,282 child investigations), at least one primary caregiver risk factor was identified. The most frequently noted concerns were victim of domestic violence (46%), few social supports (39%), mental health issues (27%), alcohol abuse (21%), and drug or solvent abuse (17%).

 

TABLE 5-6: Primary Caregiver Risk Factors in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-6

Child welfare workers completed a checklist of potential caregiver stressors that they had noted during the investigation. In an estimated 78% of substantiated child maltreatment investigations (or 66,282), at least one caregiver risk factor was reported. The most frequently noted concerns were being a victim of domestic violence (46%), having few social supports (39%), and having mental health issues (27%). For additional information, refer to pages 40-41.

TABLE 5-6: Primary Caregiver Risk Factors in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Caregiver risk factors Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
No primary caregiver risk factors 19,158 3.18 22%
No primary caregiver risk factors 19,158 3.18 22%
Type of risk factor
Alcohol abuse 18,346 3.05 21%
Drug/solvent abuse 14,355 2.38 17%
Cognitive impairment 5,541 0.92 6%
Mental health issues 22,991 3.82 27%
Physical health issues 8,387 1.39 10%
Few social supports 33,235 5.52 39%
Victim of domestic violence 39,624 6.58 46%
Perpetrator of domestic violence 11,156 1.85 13%
History of foster care/group home 6,713 1.11 8%
At least one primary caregiver risk factor 66,282 11.01 78%
Total substantiated investigations 85,440 14.19 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^  Based on a sample of 6,163 substantiated child maltreatment investigations. Columns are not additive because investigating workers could identify more than one primary caregiver risk factor.

 

Household Source of Income

Workers were asked to choose the income source that best described the primary source of the caregivers’ income, using nine classifications:

Full Time Employment: A caregiver is employed in a permanent, full-time position.

Part Time (fewer than 30 hours/week): Family income is derived primarily from a single part-time position.

Multiple Jobs: Caregiver has more than one part-time or temporary position.

Seasonal: Caregiver works either fullor part-time positions for temporary periods of the year.

Employment Insurance (EI): Caregiver is temporarily unemployed and is receiving employment insurance benefits.

Social Assistance: Caregiver is currently receiving social assistance benefits.

Other Benefit: Refers to other forms of benefits or pensions (e.g., family benefits, long-term disability insurance or child support payments).

None: Caregiver has no source of legal income.

Unknown: Source of income was not known.

Table 5-7 collapses income sources into full time employment, part time employment (which include seasonal and multiple jobs), benefits/EI/social assistance, unknown and none. Fifty-one percent (43,355) of substantiated investigations involved children in families whose primary source of income came from full-time employment. Thirty-three percent (28,159) involved children whose families received other benefits/EI/social assistance as their primary source of income. Ten percent relied on part-time work, multiple jobs or seasonal employment. In 5% of substantiated investigations, the source of income was unknown by the workers, and in 2% no reliable source of income was reported.

 

Household Source of Income in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-7

Table 5-7 shows the income source that best described the primary source of the caregivers’ income. An estimated 51% of substantiated investigations (or 43,355) involved children in families whose primary source of income came from full-time employment, 33% from other benefits/employment insurance/social assistance, 10% from part-time work, multiple jobs or seasonal employment, in 2% no reliable source of income was reported, and in 5% the source of income was unknown to the workers. For additional information, refer to pages 41-42.

TABLE 5-7: Household Source of Income in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Household source of income Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
Full-time employment 43,355 7.20 51%
Part-time/multiple jobs/seasonal employment 8,264 1.37 10%
Social assistance/employment insurance/other benefits 28,159 4.68 33%
Unknown 4,236 0.70 5%
None 1,426 0.24 2%
Total substantiated investigations 85,440 14.19 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^  Based on a sample of 6,163 substantiated child maltreatment investigations. Percentages are column percentages,
and may not add to 100% because of rounding.

 

 

 

Housing Type

Workers were asked to select the housing accommodation category that best described the child’s household living situation at the time of referral.

Types of housing included:

Own Home: A purchased house, condominium, or townhouse.

Rental: A private rental house, townhouse or apartment.

Band Housing: Aboriginal housing built, managed, and owned by the band.

Public Housing: A unit in a public rental housing complex (i.e., rent-subsidized, government-owned housing), or a house, townhouse or apartment on a military base.

Shelter/Hotel: An SRO hotel (single room occupancy), homeless or family shelter, or motel accommodation.

Unknown: Housing accommodation was unknown.

Other: Any other form of shelter.

Table 5-8 shows that 55% of all substantiated investigations involved children living in rental accommodations (44% private rentals and 11% public housing), and 31% involved children living in purchased homes. This contrasts with 2006 Census data, where 68% of households lived in a purchased home, and 31% rented their home (Statistics Canada, 2008). Five percent lived in band housing, 3% in other accommodations, and 2% in shelters or hotels. In 5% of substantiated investigations, workers did not have enough information to describe the housing type.

 

TABLE 5-8: Housing Type in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-8

Workers were asked to select the housing accommodation category that best described the child’s household living situation at the time of referral. An estimated 55% of all substantiated investigations involved children living in rental accommodations, 31% in purchased homes, 5% in band housing, 2% in shelters or hotels, 3% in other accommodations, and in 5% it was unknown to the workers. For additional information, refer to pages 41-42.

TABLE 5-8: Housing Type in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Housing type Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
Own home 26,859 4.46 31%
Rental accommodation 37,237 6.18 44%
Public housing 9,674 1.61 11%
Band housing 4,152 0.69 5%
Shelter/hotel 1,409 0.23 2%
Other 2,155 0.36 3%
Unknown 3,954 0.66 5%
Total substantiated investigations 85,440 14.19 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^  Based on a sample of 6,163 substantiated child maltreatment investigations. Percentages are column percentages, and may not add to 100% because of rounding.

 

Family Moves

In addition to housing type, workers were asked to indicate the number of household moves within the past twelve months. Table 5-9 shows that nearly half of substantiated investigations involved families who had not moved in the previous 12 months (48% or 6.87 investigations per 1,000 children), whereas 20% had moved once (2.84 investigations per 1,000 children) and 10% had moved two or more times (1.47 investigations per 1,000 children). In 21% of substantiated investigations, this information was unknown to the worker.

 

TABLE 5-9: Family Moves within the Last Twelve Months in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-9

Workers were asked to indicate the number of household moves within the past twelve months. Nearly half of substantiated investigations involved families who had not moved in the previous 12 months, whereas an estimated 20% had moved once and 10% had moved two or more times. In 21% of substantiated investigations, this information was unknown to the worker. For additional information, refer to pages 42-43.

TABLE 5-9: Family Moves within the Last Twelve Months in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Frequency of family moves Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
No moves in last twelve months 41,372 6.87 48%
One move 17,089 2.84 20%
Two or more moves 8,857 1.47 10%
Unknown 17,986 2.99 21%
Total substantiated investigations 85,304 14.17 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^  Based on a sample of 6,157 substantiated child maltreatment investigations with information about family moves. Percentages are column percentages, and may not add to 100% because of rounding.

 

TABLE 5-10: Exposure to Hazards in the Home in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008
[Accessible Version]

TABLE 5-10

Workers were asked to identify the presence of hazards in the home. At least one household hazard was noted in 12% of substantiated investigations. The three most noted were: accessible drugs or drug paraphernalia (5%), home injury hazards (4%), and other home health hazards (6%). For additional information, refer to pages 42-43.

TABLE 5-10: Exposure to Hazards in the Home in Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada in 2008^
Housing conditions Number of investigations Rate per
1,000 children
%
No exposure to household hazards 74,855 12.43 88%
No exposure to household hazards 74,855 12.43 88%
Type of hazard
Accessible weapons 1,358 0.23 2%
Accessible drugs or drug paraphernalia 4,571 0.76 5%
Drug production/trafficking in home 1,228 0.20 1%
Chemicals or solvents used in drug production 496 0.08 1%
Other home injury hazards 3,675 0.61 4%
Other home health hazards 5,538 0.92 6%
At least one household hazard 10,585 1.76 12%
Total substantiated investigations 85,440 14.19 100%

Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2008
^  Based on a sample of 6,163 substantiated child maltreatment investigations. Percentages are column percentages. Columns are not additive because investigating workers could identify more than one hazard in the home.

 

 

Exposure to Hazards in the Home

Workers were asked to identify the presence of hazards in the home. Hazards included: the presence of accessible weapons, the presence of accessible drugs or drug paraphernalia, evidence of drug production or drug trafficking in the home, chemicals or solvents used in drug production, home injury hazards (poisons, fire implements, or electrical hazards), and other home health hazards (insufficient heat, unhygienic conditions).

At least one household hazard was noted in 12% of substantiated investigations. Other home health hazards were noted in 6% of substantiated investigations (an estimated 5,538 substantiated investigations); home injury hazards were noted in 4%, and accessible weapons in 2%. Accessible drugs or drug paraphernalia were noted in 5%, drug production/trafficking in the home in 1%, and chemicals used in drug production in 1% of substantiated investigations.

Future Directions

The CIS-1998, 2003, and 2008 datasets provide a unique opportunity to describe changes in child maltreatment investigations across Canada over the last decade. The expanded 2008 sample documents rates of investigation in five provinces as well as investigations and services provided in Aboriginal-run organizations. Furthermore, changes to the procedure for classifying investigations in 2008 will allow analysts to begin to track differences between investigations of maltreatment incidents and investigations of situations reported because of risk of future maltreatment. The CIS-2008 dataset will be made available by the Injury and Child Maltreatment Section of PHAC for secondary analyses (e-mail address: child.maltreatment@phac-aspc.gc.ca). For updates and more information on the CIS-2008, visit the Child Welfare Research Portal at http://www.cwrp.ca and PHAC’s Injury and Child Maltreatment Section.

 


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