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Research Summary

What risk factors are associated with being placed in out-of-home care?

Findings from the NSW Child Development Study
Risk assessment Residential care Children Child development Child mental health Child protection Out-of-home care Child abuse New South Wales

The NSW Child Development Study (NSW-CDS) examined 17 risk factors to see if they could accurately predict whether a child would be placed in OOHC by the age of 13-14 years. The study identified six risk factors that can jointly classify children with an OOHC placement with 95% accuracy.

These factors are: home environment problems, young maternal age at birth (less than 25 years old), maternal smoking during pregnancy, maternal mental disorder, maternal criminal charge, paternal history of being placed in custody. Information of these risk factors should be routinely shared between government departments, to facilitate timely and targeted interventions to improve the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and families and potentially prevent OOHC placements.

Publication Details
Access Rights Type:
FACSIAR Evidence to Action Note May 2020