Each year nearly 900,000 cases of child abuse and neglect are substantiated in the United States, with the highest rates of maltreatment occurring among infants and toddlers. Children exposed to maltreatment are at increased risk of developmental delay. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act specifies that children under age 3 with substantiated cases of abuse or neglect must have access to early intervention under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This research examines state practices developed by Part C agencies in response to new regulations. Part C agency representatives provided input on referrals, screening, evaluation, services, and tracking methods through a semistructured survey. Results indicate a need for standardized referral processes, increased agency understanding of consent procedures for children in foster care, coordination of routine screenings between child welfare and Part C, cross-agency training, and the development of tracking databases. Specific recommendations are provided.
- child abuse/neglect/maltreatment
- disability populations
- early education programs
- foster care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health