Social Work

Date of this version


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child welfare, children with disabilities, out of home placement, foster care, child protection


This article explores the prevalence and characteristics of children with disabilities within the child welfare system using administrative data from the State of Minnesota. This study finds that more than a fifth (22%) of children with substantiated maltreatment are labeled in administrative records as having a disability, and more than one quarter of children (27.9%) over age five. The most common type of disability among children with substantiated maltreatment was emotional disturbance, while other common disabilities included intellectual and developmental disabilities and learning disabilities. Using logistic regression, this study finds that children with substantiated maltreatment with disabilities were about two times more likely to be in out of home placement than children with substantiated maltreatment without disabilities.

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Children and Youth Services Review

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License