Intervening in Child Neglect: A Microsimulation Evaluation Model of Usual Care

This project will use microsimulation methods to model the impact of usual care child welfare services in differing policy and population contexts on maltreatment report recurrence and entry to foster care for children reported for neglect. The present study employs advanced statistical modeling with various NDACAN (National Data Archive for Child Abuse and Neglect) datasets supplemented by prior unpublished work of team members as well as a comprehensive literature review, census data, and state and county economic and policy information to build a microsimulation model of usual care services for neglected children. We will focus on two of the three child welfare foci delineated by the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act: safety and permanency (Webb & Harden, 2003). Study aims are:

Aim 1: To build a microsimulation model of the effect of usual care in-home child welfare services on recurrent reporting and entry into foster care for children reported for neglect taking into account child, family, community, and policy contexts in the eight largest child welfare-serving states.

Aim 2: To explore the usefulness of a predictive aggregate model as compared to models built on individual states according to the policy and demographic contexts.

The microsimulation modeling approach we propose allows us to project how changes in large scale policies, practices or programs might alter safety and permanency outcomes for neglected children, with a special focus on the effects on diverse groups in terms of age, geography, poverty, race and ethnicity (IOM, 2013).


Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD

Administration of Children and Families, USDDHS (90 CA1832)