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There are several reasons why it is important for Child Protective Services (CPS) to identify children with developmental disabilities. First, children with developmental disabilities are more likely to be maltreated than are children who do not have developmental disabilities. Studies examining the prevalence of maltreatment of children with developmental disabilities have varied in their findings, pointing to an increased risk ranging from a 1.5 to 10 times greater likelihood of children with developmental disabilities being maltreated than other children (Ammerman&Balderian, 1993; Crosse, Kay,&Ratnofsky, n.d.; Sullivan&Knutson, 2000;Westcott&Jones, 1999). Second, CPS systems already serve significant numbers of children with developmental disabilities (Govindshenoy&Spencer, 2006; Sullivan&Knutson, 2000). Takayama, Wolfe, and Coulter (1998) estimated that two-thirds of children in foster care were experiencing developmental delays. Third, developmental services are critical for children who enter CPS systems because they often have unmet developmental needs (Cassanueva, Cross,&Ringelsen, 2008). Developmental outcomes can be improved substantially with early identification and early intervention (Giardino&Hock-Long, 2003). Finally, the CPS screening and investigation process offers an opportunity to identify disabilities and refer for services and community supports regardless of maltreatment substantiation. The Administration on Developmental Disabilities defines a developmental disability as a physical or mental impairment that begins before age 22 that alters or substantially inhibits a person's capacity to do at least three of the following (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, 2011): (1) take care of themselves, (2) speak and understand clearly, (3) learn, (4) walk or move around, (5) make decisions, (6) live independently, and (7) earn and manage an income. This definition has evolved from a classification based on a diagnosis such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or mental retardation to a definition based on functional impairment. However, it is important to note that the literature in the following review often refers to disabilities in general, often in terms of how the term has been defined in administrative data sets. Administrative data sets that include disability variables tend to focus on more global categories such as physical or mental disability, special needs, and chronic health concerns, and often there are overlapping categories such as mental health and disability. Therefore, our review of literature uses whatever term the authors of a particular study used, our Findings section uses the terms that participants used.

Essais et sciences humaines
1 octobre
National Association of Social Workers

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