PDRC: child welfare case reviews in 2018 — analysis of factors identified through case reviews
Through case reviews, the PDRC – child welfare collects information that, when tracked over time, may identify emerging trends. This knowledge can help contribute to understanding how services may be enhanced to better ensure the safety of children who are involved with the child welfare system. Definitions which describe the criteria for these factors can be found in Appendix B.
In addition to the factors identified by the PDRC – child welfare as part of the case review process, Societies report on vulnerability factors associated with the child, youth or their family as part of their submission of the Child Fatality Case Summary Report. These vulnerability factors have similarities to the factors tracked by the PDRC – child welfare. Neither the vulnerability factors nor the factors that are tracked through PDRC case review are necessarily predictive of death, however; both sets of data are collected and help evaluate trends over time.
Currently, the OCC is attempting to align the approach to tracking both sets of information for the Child and Youth Death Review and Analysis Data Integration pilot project.
Chart 28 illustrates the top risk factors for the cases reviewed by the PDRC in 2018, which were caregiver capacity (82%), domestic violence (71%), substance abuse (65%), neglect and/or inadequate supervision (59%) and involved a high risk subject child (i.e. under the age of 1 and/or had special needs) (53%). 47% of the cases reviewed involved risk factors such as physical abuse, mental health concerns, problems with the caregiver’s level of cooperation and/or motivation for intervention and where the parents and/or caregivers had a history of involvement with a society were risk factors.
Chart 28: Top ten factors identified in PDRC- child welfare case reviews (2018)
As in previous years, the findings highlight the prevalence of multiple factors in cases reviewed by the PDRC:
82% (14 out of 17) of the cases reviewed by the PDRC – child welfare in 2018 had five or more of the ten most frequently identified factors present. In 18% (3) of cases, all of the five most frequently identified factors were present (i.e. caregiver capacity concern, domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect and/or inadequate supervision and involved a high risk subject child (i.e. under the age of 1 and/or had special needs One case (6%) in 2018 had all ten of the most frequently identified factors present; and in 8 cases (47%), eight of the most frequently identified factors were present.
The prevalence of these factors in cases reviewed by the PDRC – child welfare may warrant additional investigation to determine whether or not these factors speak to an increased risk of death.