Types and frequency of child maltreatment by family foster care providers in an urban population

Child Abuse Negl. 1994 Jul;18(7):577-85. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(94)90084-1.


Types and frequency of child abuse and neglect reports in family foster care in Baltimore, Maryland as compared to reports among nonfoster families are reported. Data on maltreatment incidents in foster homes were abstracted from Child Protective Services investigation records for the years 1984-1988. Comparisons were made to community reports. Results indicated that foster families had over a three-fold increased frequency of maltreatment reports as compared to nonfoster families. Report frequency was highest for physical abuse with a seven-fold risk of report as compared to nonfoster families. Overall, 20% of foster care reports were substantiated as compared to 35% of nonfoster reports, although the risk of having a substantiated report was significantly higher in foster care. The distribution of report types in foster care differed from those in the community with physical abuse the most frequent allegation in foster care, as compared to neglect as the most frequent allegation in the community. Explanations for these findings including differences in criteria for report and substantiation are advanced.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Baltimore / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / classification
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Foster Home Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Urban Population*