Hard Times Made Harder

Struggling Caregivers and Child Neglect

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Carsey Institute

September 24, 2010


Using data from a national survey, this brief links specific caregiver struggles to a higher incidence of out-of-home placements among neglected children. It closes with one clear recommendation: Offer integrated — and early — caregiver support services to help counter this trend and better aid America’s at-risk children and families. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

One factor that plays a significant role in child welfare placement decisions? Caregiver struggles

Four separate caregiver issues — drug use, alcohol abuse, behavioral health problems and poverty — increase a child’s likelihood of being placed in out-of-home care following evidence of neglect.

Findings & Stats

CI Hard Times Made Harder 2010 fig1

Money Matters

Twenty-one percent of poor, neglected children are removed from the home, while only 8% of non-poor, neglected kids are.

Statements & Quotations