Our study examines the frequency of joint investigations by child protection workers and the police in sexual abuse investigations compared to other maltreatment types and the association of child-, caregiver-, maltreatment- and investigation-related characteristics in joint investigations, focussing specifically on investigations involving sexual abuse.
We analyzed data from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect–2008 using logistic regression.
The data suggest that sexual abuse (55%), and then physical abuse, neglect and emotional maltreatment, are most often co-investigated. Substantiation of maltreatment, severity of maltreatment, placement in out-of-home care, child welfare court involvement and referral of a family member to specialized services was more likely when the police were involved in an investigation.
This study adds to the limited information on correlates of joint child protection agency and police investigations. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these joint investigations.