Reported contact with child protection services among those reporting child physical and sexual abuse: results from a community survey
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OBJECTIVE: This study uses results from a large community survey to examine the relationship between a history of child maltreatment and self-reports of contact with Child Protection Services (CPS). METHODS: The Ontario Health Supplement was a province-wide, probability-based survey of household dwellings in the province of Ontario, Canada. A random sample of residents aged 15 and older participated in the Ontario Health Supplement (N=9953). A face-to-face interview included a question about contact with Child Protection Services (CPS), and the Child Maltreatment History Self-Report, a self-administered questionnaire, was used to assess history of child physical and sexual abuse. RESULTS: Only a very small percentage of respondents with a history of child abuse reported contact with CPS; 5.1% of those with a history of physical abuse, and 8.7% of those with a history of sexual abuse. Contact with CPS was associated with younger age of respondent for both types of abuse and female gender for physical abuse. In the case of sexual abuse, younger respondents whose parental employment classification was in the lower socioeconomic group were more likely to have contact with CPS. CONCLUSIONS: Interventions that target only those who come in contact with CPS will not reach most persons exposed to child abuse.
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