The cycle of child protection services involvement: A cohort study of adolescent mothers.
Wall-Wieler, E., Brownell, M., Singal, D., Nickel, N., & Roos, L.L.
OBJECTIVES: To determine if adolescent mothers who were in the care of child protection services (CPS) when they gave birth to their first child are more likely to have that child taken into CPS care before the child’s second birthday than adolescent mothers who were not in the care of CPS.
METHODS: Linkable administrative data were used to create a population-based cohort of adolescent mothers whose first child was born in Manitoba, Canada between April 1, 1998, and March 31, 2013 (n = 5942). Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) of having that first child taken into care before their second birthday were compared between mothers who were in care (n = 576) and mothers who were not in care (n = 5366) at the birth of their child by using logistic regression models.
RESULTS: Adolescent mothers who were in care had greater odds of having their child taken into care before the child’s second birthday (aOR = 7.53; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.19–9.14). Specifically, their children had higher odds of being taken into care in their first week of life (aOR = 11.64; 95% CI = 8.83–15.34), between 1 week and their first birthday (aOR = 3.63; 95% CI = 2.79–4.71), and between their first and second birthday (aOR = 2.21; 95% CIl = 1.53–3.19).
CONCLUSIONS: Findings support an intergenerational cycle of involvement with CPS. More and better services are required for adolescent mothers who give birth while in care of CPS.