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Article
The Effect of Early Head Start on Child Welfare System Involvement: A First Look at Longitudinal Child Maltreatment Outcomes
Children and Youth Services Review
  • Beth L. Green, Portland State University
  • Catherine Ayoub, Harvard Medical School
  • Jessica Dym Bartlett, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Adam Von Ende, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Carrie Jeanne Furrer, Portland State University
  • Rachel Chazen-Cohen, George Mason University
  • Claire Vallotton, Michigan State University
  • Joanne Klevens, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Document Type
Post-Print
Publication Date
4-4-2014
Subjects
  • Abused children -- Statistics,
  • Prevention -- Child abuse and neglect,
  • Early childhood education -- United States -- Research,
  • Head Start programs
Abstract
The high societal and personal costs of child maltreatment make identification of effective early prevention programs a high research priority. Early Head Start (EHS), a dual generational program serving low-income families with children prenatally through age three years, is one of the largest federally funded programs for infants and toddlers in the United States. A national randomized trial found EHS to be effective in improving parent and child outcomes, but its effectiveness in reducing child maltreatment was not assessed. The current study used administrative data from state child welfare agencies to examine the impact of EHS on documented abuse and neglect among children from seven of the original seventeen programs in the national EHS randomized controlled trial. Results indicated that children in EHS had significantly fewer child welfare encounters between the ages of five and nine years than did children in the control group, and that EHS slowed the rate of subsequent encounters. Additionally, compared to children in the control group, children in EHS were less likely to have a substantiated report of physical or sexual abuse, but more likely to have a substantiated report of neglect. These findings suggest that EHS may be effective in reducing child maltreatment among low-income children, in particular, physical and sexual abuse.
Description

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the journal Children and Youth Services Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. A definitive version was subsequently published.

DOI
10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.03.044
Persistent Identifier
http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12146
Citation Information
Green, B.L., Ayoub, C., Bartlett, J.D., Von Ende, A., Furrer, C., Chazan-Cohen, R., Vallotton, C. & Klevens, J., The Effect of Early Head Start on Child Welfare System Involvement: A First Look at Longitudinal Child Maltreatment Outcomes, Children and Youth Services Review (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.03.044 This