Race, ethnicity, and case outcomes in child protective services

Yuhwa Eva Lu, John Landsverk, Elissa Ellis-Macleod, Rae Newton, William Ganger, Ivory Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study reviews the records of 3936 children and adolescents under the age of 17 who were referred to the public receiving home for suspected maltreatment. The study examines the correlation between background characteristics (i.e. age, gender, race/ethnicity, reasons for referral), and case outcome decisions (i.e. case open to service, out-of-home placement, and family reunification), using bivariate and multivariate analysis. Racial/ethnic differences are observed. Compared to census data, African Americans are the only over-represented group. Latinos, Asians, and Anglos are all under-represented. Significant differences were detected when race/ethnicity was analyzed with respect to the case opened, length of stay in the foster care, and length of time for family reunification. African American subjects are consistently observed in each outcome category at higher proportions than all other racial/ethnic groups, both mainstream and minority populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-461
Number of pages15
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Adolescents
  • Ethnicity
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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