An examination of organizational factors associated with the recurrence of maltreatment in institutional care

Allison M Blake, Fordham University


Assuring safety for children in institutional care is accomplished through prevention and remediation. The child welfare system in New Jersey utilizes a post investigation model to remediate problems and prevent future incidents. This post investigation model includes the development and implementation of a corrective action plan, and anticipates follow up by the regulatory agency with oversight responsibility for the institution. The study sought to understand the role of compliance with the corrective action plan in assuring safety for children residing in institutions. Because 24-hour child-care institutions in New Jersey are licensed by different entities, this study also sought to examine the relationship of licensing agency type with future safety. A retrospective panel study was conducted through a record analysis of the child abuse investigation files of the New Jersey Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit (IAIU). The study included three comparison groups, organized according to licensing oversight agency. The three groups were: child welfare, juvenile justice and health/mental health. The sample consisted of 54 24-hour child care institutions that received a recommended corrective action plan (CAP) following a child abuse investigation during 1998 or 1999. These institutions were followed over a two-year period to assess reported compliance with the corrective action plan, and the relationship of that reported compliance to future safety. Safety was measured by the non-occurrence of a new substantiated investigation finding or a new corrective action plan during the 24-month period following the implementation of the study CAP. The results of the study did not support the main hypothesis that licensing agency type would be associated with future safety. What the study did reveal was that the presence, and actual number, of other investigations by the IAIU, contributed to institutions not being safe. Further, as the number of concurrent investigations increased, the likelihood of reported compliance with the corrective action plan decreased. Implications for policy, practice and research are discussed.

Subject Area

Social work|Welfare

Recommended Citation

Blake, Allison M, "An examination of organizational factors associated with the recurrence of maltreatment in institutional care" (2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3081406.