Child protective services (CPS) involvement among low-income families

Member: Kristen S. Slack
(University of Wisconsin - Madison)
View more resources by Kristen S. Slack
Endorsements: 1

This exploratory study examines combinations of income-tested welfare benefits and earnings, as they relate to the likelihood of child maltreatment investigations among low-income families with young children participating in a nutritional assistance program in one U.S. state (Wisconsin). Using a sample of 1065 parents who received the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits in late 2010 and early 2011, we find that relying on either work in the absence of other means-tested welfare benefits, or a combination of work and welfare benefits, reduces the likelihood of CPS involvement compared to parents who rely on welfare benefits in the absence of work. Additionally, we find that housing instability increases the risk of CPS involvement in this population. The findings from this investigation may be useful to programs serving low-income families with young children, as they attempt to identify safety net resources for their clientele.

Free to use with citation
Last Revised Date 
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:09
Keywords / Tags 
child protection
child welfare
child maltreatment
child abuse and neglect
Type of resource 
Published Article or Book Chapter
Resource Institution 
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Institution Type 
4 or 4+ year College/University
Recommended Citation 

Slack, K.S., Font, S. A. & Maguire-Jack, K. (2017). Predicting child protective services involvement among families receiving Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14, 1197; DOI: 10.3390/ijerph14101197.