Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Suicide and children within the child protection system

A new research report has been published in the current issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. In it, the authors note that children in the system have higher risks of suicidal behaviors. Katz et al., report that there is clearly a higher rate of suicidal behaviours with this population at a level that is statistically significant when compared with a population that has not been in care. This may not be a surprise for those of us working with these children.

An aspect that was surprising is about the impact of actually being in care. As they note, "Increasing length of time in care and increas- ing number of placements were not significantly associated with increases in the rates of suicide, attempted suicide or admissions to hospital, and parental psychopathology did not affect rates of suicide or attempted suicide" (p.3).

There are further surprises was that suicidal rates actually dropped once a child came into care as opposed to the period before they were in care."In the cohort of children and adolescents who were in the care of child and family services, the rate of attempted suicide was significantly lower in the years after entry into care than in the two years before entry into care" (p.3). A drop was also noted for physician visits and admission to hospital, although not psychiatric status.

This research is a valuable contribution to the literature as it is not well studied. It also causes us to reflect on some beliefs that have been taken as true, yet unchallenged. 

The article can be source at 

No comments:

Post a Comment