Localities, social services and child abuse: The role of community characteristics in social services allocation and child abuse reporting

Asher Ben-Arieh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study presented here explores relationships between a set of locality characteristics, two variables of social services availability and child maltreatment. Data was collected on 173 localities in Israel, ranging from small towns to small cities. In which roughly 34% of the overall child population reside. This study was set to test three hypotheses: worse off localities will have more social services; worse off localities will have higher child maltreatment rates; localities with more available social services will have higher reported child maltreatment rates. The study shows that reporting rates vary across localities. The study established a relation between locality characteristics and availability of social workers but not with the availability of child protection officers. Findings supported earlier studies by finding a relation between locality hardship and higher child maltreatment rate. The study also established a clear relation between availability of social services and reported child maltreatment rates. Our study clearly shows that to prevent child maltreatment, one should address unemployment and better support of single-parent families.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)536-543
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Child maltreatment
  • Community characteristics
  • Social organization
  • Social services availability

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