Out-of-Home Care and the Educational Achievement, Attendance, and Suspensions of Maltreated Children: A Propensity-Matched Study

Miriam J. Maclean, Catherine L. Taylor, Melissa O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To estimate the influence of out-of-home care on reading scores, attendance, and suspensions by comparing a matched sample of maltreated children who entered out-of-home care and maltreated children who remained at home. Study design: Linked administrative data for all children born in Western Australia between 1990 and 2010 was used, focusing on those with substantiated maltreatment before year 9 achievement tests (n = 3297). Propensity score modelling was used to address differences in preexisting risk factors (child, family, neighborhood characteristics, maltreatment history, and reading scores) and compare outcomes for children placed in out-of-home care and those remaining in in-home care. Results: Both groups of maltreated children had poor educational outcomes. After accounting for group differences in risk characteristics, there was no difference in year 9 reading achievement for the out-of-home care and in-home care groups. There was no difference in suspensions for the groups. The only significant difference was children in out-of-home care had fewer school absences than children in in-home care. Conclusions: Out-of-home care was not found to be a significant factor in the adverse educational outcomes of these children; however, there is a clear need for further educational support to address poor outcomes for children involved with child protection services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293.e2
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume198
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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