The Illinois Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being is a longitudinal study of the same group of children in substantiated investigations at several points over time. The baseline data collection occurred about four to five months after their initial investigation was closed. The Children and Family Research Center published a baseline report
that described the children's developmental status, educational status, physical health, social and emotional well-being, and risk behaviors. Since the ISCAW is a random sample of all children in substantiated investigations, it includes children who remain at home following their investigation and those that are removed and placed into substitute care, and allows us to compare their well-being. Infants and Toddlers In the Child Welfare System Face Developmental Problems
Maltreated children are at greater risk than other children for adverse outcomes in physical health, brain development, cognitive and language skills, and social-emotional functioning. Children from birth to age 3 are particularly vulnerable because of the rapid physical and social development that occurs between infancy and toddlerhood. This research brief
provides a snapshot of the physical and developmental well-being of infants and toddlers substantiated maltreatment investigation in Illinois.Food Issues a New Area of Concern for
The number of U.S. families struggling to put enough food on the table for their children is increasing. Community food services, such as food pantries and soup kitchens, and federal programs such as food stamps are critically important in fighting hunger. Although there is a well-documented link between maltreatment and poverty, no research has examined the use of food assistance programs by families involved in the Illinois child welfare system. A research brief
examined this issue and found that although sizable portions of families - both intact families and foster families - were eligible for food assistance, many did not report using them. Food insecurity can have lasting effects on child health and development, so every effort should be made to support enrollment in these programs among eligible families. Abused and Neglected Children at a High Risk for Unhealthy Weight
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years, causing many to consider it a national epidemic. Some of the causes of obesity in adulthood have been traced back to adverse childhood experiences, including abuse and neglect. This brief
examines the rates of obesity and severe underweight for children in substantiated investigations in Illinois, and compares these rates to both child welfare-involved children in the nation and children in the general U.S. population. Results suggest that rates of unhealthy weight among maltreated children in Illinois are higher than children in the general population but lower than those among maltreated children nationally. Certain subgroups of maltreated children in Illinois are at particularly high risk for obesity.