Relationship of risk assessment to placement characteristics in a statewide child welfare population

Cindy Y. Huang, Christopher T. Bory, Colleen Caron, Jacob Kraemer Tebes, Christian M. Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Risk assessments allow child and youth services to identify children who are at risk for maltreatment (e.g., abuse, neglect) and help determine the restrictiveness of placements or need for services among youth entering a child welfare system. Despite the use of instruments by many agencies within the U.S. to determine the appropriate placements for youth, research has shown that placement decisions are often influenced by factors such as gender, age, and severity of social-emotional and behavior problems. This study examined ratings of risk across multiple domains using a structured assessment tool used by caseworkers in the Rhode Island child welfare system. The relationship between ratings of risk and placement restrictiveness was also examined. Risk levels varied across placement settings. Multivariate analyses revealed that lower caseworker ratings of parent risk and higher ratings of youth risk were associated with more restrictive placements for youth. Implications for the child welfare system are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Nov 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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