Disabled children risk further abuse after unsubstantiated referral for neglect, research finds

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Children with disabilities who have an initial unsubstantiated referral for neglect are at increased risk of being maltreated subsequently, a research letter published in JAMA has warned.

Researchers analysed data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, which collects data on children reported to child protection services in the United States and Puerto Rico. A total of 12 610 children with disabilities and 476 566 without disabilities who had first time unsubstantiated referrals for neglect in 2008 were included in the study and followed up for four years.