New in PNAS: @frankalready, @Sara_Wakefield, me, and Chris Wildeman: pnas.org/content/118/30…

We provide county-level estimates of four kinds of contact with Child Protective Services in the 20 most populous counties in the US, overall and by race/ethnicity.

1st: Investigation:
2nd, Cumulative risks for a) Confirmed maltreatment, b) Foster care placement, and c) Termination of Parental Rights (TPR), again for each county by race/ethnicity. Lots of information summarized here. Note each of the three panels has its own x-axis range in this figure.
This paper is very brief but contains several important stories. First, overall risks by Race/Ethnicity. Rates of CPS investigation are extremely high. The total median investigation rate was 41%; the risk for Black, Hispanic, and White children exceeded 20% in all counties.
Second, there's a lot of variation by race/ethnicity. Black children had consistently high rates of investigations, ranging from 43% in King County, WA, to 72% in LA County, CA. In most counties, having had a CPS investigation was a modal outcome for Black children.
In 11 of the 20 counties, Black children had risks of investigation that exceeded 60%. Asian/PI children had consistently lower rates of CPS investigation. Their highest rate was 24.2% in Riverside, CA, way below the median.
Third, there's a lot of variation across these large counties. The disparity between the highest and lowest counties is almost 10:1 for confirmed maltreatment (Wayne MI vs. King WA), 5.4:1 for foster care (Maricopa AZ, vs. New York), and 17.5:1 for TPR (Maricopa vs. New York).
In summary, CPS contact is very common in highly-populated US counties. For some groups it's more common than not. For some forms of intervention, there's huge variation by county.
The paper's v. short. Open-access here: pnas.org/content/118/30…

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