Working to transform the child welfare system.

Parenting Stress Among Child Welfare Involved Families

The intersection of parenting stress and maltreatment shows the importance of understanding factors associated with parenting stress among child welfare involved families. This study uses data from a statewide survey of child welfare involved families, and examines parent and child characteristics and resources in relation to parenting stress. It compares families receiving in-home supervision with those whose children are in out-of-home care, given the differences in parenting responsibilities between the groups. In both groups parenting stress was predicted by child mental health, and parent mental health predicted parenting stress for the in-home group, and food insecurity predicted parenting stress in the out-of-home group. Findings confirm that stress varies by context and that a multi-dimensional framework, considering both psychosocial and concrete resources, is required to capture contributors to parenting stress. The article can be accessed online here.