At least half of all maltreatment cases in the U.S. occur in the context of substance use disorders. Child welfare agencies play an important role in connecting families to appropriate services within the community. This study will integrate qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) with regression to identify combinations of child welfare investigative and collaborative practices that maximize identification of caregiver and youth service needs and subsequent treatment utilization. QCA is innovative because it accounts for complex interactions between predictor variables. Analyses using data from a 2008-2009 entry cohort of families in the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being will proceed as follows: Multiple regression will determine the net effect of each practice on specified outcomes. QCA will identify complex combinations of practices that are positively associated with these outcomes. Finally, integration of QCA with regression will determine which combinations of child welfare agency practices maximize treatment utilization for caregivers and children after accounting for the complex survey design of the data as well as individual demographic and case characteristics. This study will yield important substantive findings and is well-aligned with NIDA's strategic goals of improving treatment access and helping prevent addiction in at-risk families.

Public Health Relevance

Although many child welfare-involved caregivers and children have substance use and/or other mental health disorders, the majority do not receive treatment. This study integrates an innovative analytic technique, qualitative comparative analysis, with regression in order to identify combinations of child welfare agency practices that best facilitate families'utilization of treatment and wraparound services. Findings will be used to improve treatment access for maltreated children and their caregivers and ultimately, prevent the development of risky behaviors in this vulnerable population.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPIA-N (09))
Program Officer
Kahana, Shoshana Y
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
San Diego State University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Other Domestic Higher Education
San Diego
United States
Zip Code
Cross, Theodore P; Chuang, Emmeline; Helton, Jesse J et al. (2015) Criminal investigations in child protective services cases: an empirical analysis. Child Maltreat 20:104-14
Chuang, Emmeline; Collins-Camargo, Crystal; McBeath, Bowen et al. (2014) An empirical typology of private child and family serving agencies. Child Youth Serv Rev 38:101-112
McBeath, Bowen; Chuang, Emmeline; Bunger, Alicia et al. (2014) Under What Conditions Does Caseworker-Caregiver Racial/Ethnic Similarity Matter for Housing Service Provision? An Application of Representative Bureaucracy Theory. Soc Serv Rev 88:135-165
Chuang, Emmeline; Wells, Rebecca; Aarons, Gregory A (2014) Identifying Depression in a National Sample of Caregivers Investigated in Regard to Their Child's Welfare. Psychiatr Serv 65:911-7
Chuang, Emmeline; Wells, Rebecca; Bellettiere, John et al. (2013) Identifying the substance abuse treatment needs of caregivers involved with child welfare. J Subst Abuse Treat 45:118-25