The studies reveal some common threads. Using state-level data on the number of reports and substantiated cases of child maltreatment, Paxson and Waldfogel find more broadly that the socioeconomic status of families does affect levels of child maltreatment.
From the available evidence, there was a relatively clear relationship between 'child maltreatment' and poorer economic outcomes such as reduced income, unemployment, lower level of job skill and fewer assets, over and above the influence of family of origin socio-economic status.
Even reviewing neutral e-rays for fractures, hospitalized minority toddlers were five times more likely to be evaluated for child abuse, and three times more likely to be reported for child abuse, than white children.
I had this case during a time where there were hundreds of neglect cases being filed in family court involving allegations of marijuana use under the theory that marijuana was the gateway to hard drugs.
By acknowledging, listening, considering, probing, and understanding through assessments, service providers can gain a clearer path of intervention for families. If single mothers work, child maltreatment is considerably more likely, possibly because single working mothers are more neglectful or abusive, or because their children are left in the care of someone who is neglectful or abusive.
More recently, Cancian, Slack, and Yang found that families who received greater amounts of governmental child support payments experienced fewer investigations from the child welfare system related to child maltreatment.
Considering the advance publicity, it seemed to me that the average reader might overlook the crucial role that socioeconomic and racial biases play in determining which families come under the scrutiny of the child welfare system to begin with.