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Child Sexual Abuse: Removals by Child Generation and Ethnicity

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Released online: May 07, 2007
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The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

Read the other two briefs in this series

Foster Care Placement Settings and Permanency Planning: Patterns by Child Generation

Title IV-E Funding: Funded Foster Care Placements by Child Generation and Ethnicity

The text below is an excerpt from the complete document. Read the full report in PDF format.


Abstract

Over one fifth of all U.S. children have at least one immigrant parent. Social service systems are encountering increasing numbers of these children, but few hard data exist. Three briefs in the Identifying Immigrant Families Involved with Child Welfare Systems series provide some of the first data on Latin American immigrant children in out-of-home care in Texas. Key findings include:

  • Placement type: only 8 percent of Latin American immigrant children in out-of-home care are living with relatives compared with 20-28 percent of U.S.-born children.
  • Removal reason: Latin American immigrants are three times more likely to be removed because of sexual abuse than children of U.S.-born parents.
  • Title IV-E eligibility: only 5 percent of Latin American immigrants in out-of-home care are eligible for reimbursement compared with over half of U.S.-born children.

Child sexual abuse rates have fallen dramatically in the United States since the early 1990s. Between 1992 and 2000, substantiated sexual abuse reports dropped from 150,000 to 89,500 cases, a decline of 40 percent (Finkelhor and Jones 2004). Much of this decline may be attributable to a declining pool of older, previously unreported cases of child abuse that came to light in the late 1980s with rising public awareness but were largely investigated by the mid-1990s. However, similar declines in selfreported sexual abuse provide evidence that at least a portion of the change represents a real decline in child sexual abuse, rather than increased caution on the part of Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies that investigate and substantiate abuse allegations. Despite this encouraging national trend in child sexual abuse, administrative data from Texas suggest that the share of Latin American immigrant children in out-of-home care in Texas who were removed for sexual abuse is three times as high as the share of children of natives removed for sexual abuse.

(End of excerpt. The complete report is available in PDF format.)



Topics/Tags: | Children and Youth | Immigrants


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