Child maltreatment investigations and substantiations in child protection services: Factors distinguishing children with intellectual disabilities
*De La Sablonnière-Griffin M, Paquette G, Hélie S, Dion J. (2021). Child maltreatment investigations and substantiations in child protection services: Factors distinguishing children with intellectual disabilities. Disability and Health Journal, 14(4), 101128
Background : Children with intellectual disabilities (ID) are more vulnerable to maltreatment than children without ID. Few studies focused on understanding the experiences of maltreatment of children with ID, limiting our capacity to adequately care for them. Objective : This study examined the types of maltreatment with which ID is associated among child protection investigations, and identified the individual, environmental, and service-related factors distinguishing children with ID from those without, among children with substantiated maltreatment. Methods : Secondary data from an incidence study on investigated child maltreatment including 2053 children aged 6–17 years old were analyzed through univariate and multivariate logistic regressions. ID was present for 5.7% (n = 117) of the children. Results : ID was associated with increased odds of being investigated for neglect and decreased odds of being investigated or substantiated for psychological maltreatment. The factors that most distinguished children with ID from other children were physical disabilities (8.45, p < 0.001) and autism spectrum disorder (11.33, p < 0.001) in the child and having at least one parent with ID (16.21, p < 0.001). Two other environmental factors, including having been reported by a professional (2.13, p = 0.047), distinguished children with ID from the other children. Conclusions : Children with ID who experienced maltreatment present with greater adversity than children without ID. Professionals play a preponderant role in reporting situations of maltreatment for children with ID and need additional training to properly respond to maltreatment of children with ID.