Resource | Presentation

Extracting and Analyzing Administrative Child Welfare Case File Data: An Exploration of Children With Prenatal Substance Exposure

  • Authors:
  • Sharon Newburg-Rinn, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families
  • Kathleen Wang, ICF
  • Erin Ingoldsby
Project: Prenatal Alcohol and Other Drug Exposures in Child Welfare

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An estimated 400,000 infants affected by prenatal exposures to alcohol and other drugs are born in the United States each year. Outcomes include reduced IQ, learning problems, attention deficits, behavioral issues, and poor adaptive functioning. The risk is greater among children receiving child welfare services, but data are scarce.

The Prenatal Alcohol and Other Drug Exposures in Child Welfare project is examining methods for identifying and serving children in the system who are affected by prenatal exposures. This presentation was delivered by project representatives at the American Evaluation Association conference in November 2017. It summarizes the project’s review of child welfare case files to identify data about prenatal exposures.

The project first conducted a pilot study at a local child welfare agency examining 75 case files and is scaling up to review 440 case files across 8 agencies. The presentation reviews the approach and its benefits and challenges.