• Assessment of Services Available for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence in Anchorage, Alaska

      Vadapalli, Diwakar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-09-01)
      The Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) plans to expand services provided under its Flourishing Child initiative, and requested an assessment of service needs for children in the Anchorage area that are exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Specifically, CITC wishes to know if the proposed expansion of Flourishing Child services will satisfy an unmet need in the community. This assessment includes a brief introduction and review of related concepts, and an assessment of services available within the Municipality of Anchorage.
    • The Growing Number of Alaska Children in Foster Care, 2011-2015

      Vadapalli, Diwakar; Passini, Jessica (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-03-01)
      The number of Alaska children in foster care was up sharply in 2015, with the average monthly number jumping more than 20%. We don’t have the data to document why the number went up, but state officials have said it might be partly because the Office of Children’s Services (OCS) is investigating more cases and taking more aggressive measures to protect children and avoid another spate of child deaths, as happened in 2014. Recent news reports also point to increased abuse of heroin among parents as potentially contributing to more child abuse and neglect.
    • Repeat Maltreatment in Alaska: Assessment and Exploration of Alternative Measures

      Vadapalli, Diwakar; Passini, Jessica (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-12-01)
      Most deaths and serious injuries among children who are abused or neglected are preceded by multiple reported instances of maltreatment. The Office of Children Services (OCS), Alaska’s child protection agency, is very concerned about repeat maltreatment. It’s extremely damaging to children and demoralizing to everyone who tries to help prevent it. Over the last several years, Alaska has consistently had among the highest rates in the country of repeat child maltreatment, as reported by the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Those federal figures measure the percentage of children who were the victims of at least two substantiated reports—that is, confirmed reports—of maltreatment within six months. In 2009, nearly 10% of children who were the subjects of investigation by OCS were reported as suffering repeat maltreatment, compared with less than 6% nationwide. By 2013, the share in Alaska was at nearly 13%, compared with a national rate of less than 5.5% (Figure S-1). But even those grim federal statistics don’t provide a complete picture of repeat child maltreatment in Alaska. Many analysts believe that not all cases where maltreatment may have occurred are substantiated, and that maltreatment of a child may be reported a number of times, over a longer period, before it is substantiated. Also, for various reasons, many reports of maltreatment are not investigated at all, in Alaska and other states, and only a small share of those that are investigated are substantiated. For example, in Alaska in 2013, 42% of reports in an average month were not investigated, and only 12% of reports were substantiated
    • Repeat Maltreatment in Alaska: Assessment and Exploration of Alternative Measures

      Passini, Jessica; Vadapalli, Diwakar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 12/1/2015)
    • Trends in Age, Gender, and Ethnicity Among Children in Foster Care in Alaska

      Vadapalli, Diwakar; Hanna, Virgene; Passini, Jessica (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-11-01)
      In Alaska, as in every other state, people who suspect children are being abused or neglected can contact the designated child protection agency. In Alaska, that agency is the Office of Children Services (OCS). It is responsible for investigating all reported incidents and determining the level of risk to the health, safety, and welfare of children. In a number of instances, children will be removed from their families and homes due to unsafe conditions, and they are often placed in foster care. 1 Being taken away from their families is of course traumatizing for children. The number of American children in foster care at any time, and the length of time they spend in foster care, has been closely watched over the last several decades. Several changes in policy and practice were introduced in the last 20 years, at national and state levels, to reduce both the number of children in foster care and the length of time they stay in foster care. These changes caused some dramatic trends at the national level: the number of children in foster care in the U.S. declined by almost a quarter (23.7%) between 2002 and 2012, with the decline being most pronounced among AfricanAmerican children (47.1%). As of 2012, African-American children made up 26% of all children in foster care nationwide, down from 37% a decade earlier. But during the same period, the proportion of children in foster care classified as belonging to two or more races almost doubled. And American Indian/Alaska Native children are the highest represented ethnic group among foster children—13 of every 1,000 American Indian/Alaska Native children in the U.S. were in foster care in 2012. In contrast, no such dramatic changes happened in Alaska in recent years. This paper reports on foster children in Alaska by age, gender, race, and region over the period 2006-2013. This information is important for state policymakers working to better protect abused and neglected children. At the end of the paper we discuss questions the data raise and describe additional data needed to better help children in foster care in Alaska. We compiled data for this analysis from monthly reports of key indicators on foster children in the state. OCS publishes monthly data on select indicators (Alaska State Statutes 2011, Monthly reports concerning children, AK. Stat. § 47.05.100), in PDF format on its website (http://dhss.alaska.gov/ocs/Pages/statistics/default.aspx). Data presented here are snapshots in time and do not follow unique children over time.
    • Trends in Allegations and Investigations of Child Abuse and Neglect in Alaska

      Vadapalli, Diwakar; Hanna, Virgene (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-08)
      Rates of child abuse and neglect in Alaska have been high for years, compared with national averages and under various measures. To find ways of better protecting children in our state, it’s important for Alaskans to understand more about child maltreatment —which includes neglect, mental injury, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Neglect is by far the most common type of maltreatment, in Alaska and across the country. This is the first in a series of papers that will examine child abuse and neglect in Alaska, to focus more attention on this very serious problem and uncover potential reasons why rates are so high. Here we discuss trends in allegations of child abuse and neglect and subsequent investigations, from 2006 through 2012. We use publically available data from the Office of Children’s Services (OCS), the state agency that deals with most reported child maltreatment in Alaska.
    • Webnote 21. The Growing Number of Alaska Children in Foster Care, 2011-2015

      Passini, Jessica; Vadapalli, Diwakar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3/1/2016)