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Information sheet: Structural interventions in child welfare

Martell, B. – 2013

Describes how interventions that address structural risk factors affecting Native families can improve outcomes for Native children impacted by neglect and out-of-home placement. Explains what structural risk factors are (such as poor housing, poverty, historical disadvantage, and unequal access to services) and how they are linked to child neglect and foster care placement in Native populations. Describes how structural interventions can produce positive outcomes. Outlines promising structural interventions in the areas of housing, poverty, and substance abuse. Describes how drug and alcohol abuse are risk factors for child maltreatment, particularly neglect, and notes the importance of connecting Native families to substance abuse treatment services.