Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. David Royse


There is ample evidence indicating that maltreatment has deleterious effects on the development of infants and toddlers. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2003 requires referrals from child welfare (CW) to IDEA Part C Early Intervention services to provide developmental assessments and services for children younger than three with substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect. Thus, this study aims to examine the effects of Part C services on the well-being of young children and their families in CW.

This study used a secondary dataset, the National Survey of Children and Adolescent Well-Being II, to examine the research questions. The study results indicate that Part C services can help to decrease the decline and have greater improvement in the well-being outcomes of young children with and without substantiated cases in CW. Also, Part C services can enhance language and adaptive skills for children who are in need of developmental and learning services. However, the developmental and learning needs of those young children are under-identified and under-addressed by CW professionals. Ample research has emphasized that Part C services can lead to positive outcomes for children who are at risk for developmental delays or dysfunction. If those children and their families are not offered timely and appropriate early interventions, their difficulties can become more severe, which often leads to lifelong consequences. To address the developmental needs of those children as early as possible, this study’s findings indicate an urgent need to enhance CW professionals’ knowledge of early childhood development and intervention as well as to improve their capabilities to identify young children’ developmental needs. State administrators and policymakers should reexamine the existing relationship between CW and Part C to further establish a better referral-making system in response to the mandated referrals under CAPTA of 2003 and IDEA of 2004.

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