Objectives: The study aims to further the understanding of child welfare involvement with Newcomer families in Ontario, Canada in 2018. This study examines a) the rate and characteristics of child maltreatment-related investigations involving Newcomer families and b) differences in child maltreatment-related investigations between Newcomer and non-Newcomer families.
Methods: This study is a secondary data analysis of the Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2018 (OIS-2018). Using Statistics Canada Census Data, the Population-based Disparity Index (PDI) was calculated for Newcomer and non-Newcomer families. Descriptive and bivariate chi-square analyses were conducted to determine characteristics of investigations involving Newcomer and non-Newcomer households.
Results: The PDI of the incidence of maltreatment-related investigations involving children under the age of 15 from Newcomer households versus non-Newcomer households in Ontario in 2018 is 2.48.
Implications: The findings suggest that a child maltreatment-related investigation is more than twice as likely to occur if the investigation involves a child from a Newcomer household, when compared a non-Newcomer household in Ontario. This study demonstrates a need for further collaboration with Newcomer communities and their social service providers to better understand risk factors of child welfare involvement, and to increase protective factors for children from Newcomer families.
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