Child Abuse: A Study of Placement, Substantiation and Type of Abuse

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Committee Chair

Gail Frankle

Committee Member

Cynthia Smoak

Committee Member

Tonia Young-Babb


Child abuse and neglect is a major health problem in the United States. Besides the obvious concerns for youth, this problem contributes to a huge economic burden for taxpayers. Despite the research and knowledge around this topic, there are still no known solutions. One response to child abuse and neglect has been to remove children from their homes. A primary placement option for these youth has been residential treatment. Residential treatment for youth has been a highly controversial topic for quite some time. In order to address this issue, authors of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) of 2018 set out to overhaul the child welfare system. A primary goal of the legislation was to decrease the number of youths placed in residential facilities across the United States and to keep more youth in their familial homes. One of the ways that they attempted to accomplish this objective was by linking the requirement of a reduction in the number of youth residential placements to federal funding. Controversy over this legislation stems from the concerns of keeping youth in their homes where they are experiencing abuse and neglect. This study will determine if there is a relationship between placement and substantiated cases of child abuse and/or neglect related to type of abuse and neglect. Five years of data on CHINS (Child in Need of Services) cases in the state of Indiana will be collected in order to make this comparison.