Child Welfare

Number of Substantiated Abuse/Neglect Reports Decline

Foster care placement is often the final act to protect children from abuse and neglect after attempts have been made to stabilize their families. In order to lessen the trauma associated with being removed from their parents, the goal is to place children with people who are familiar to them, such as relatives, extended family members and/ or their siblings whenever possible. These placements not only promote emotional well-being, they also maintain family connections and the cultural and familial rituals to which the children are accustomed. This indicator tracks confirmed child abuse and neglect reports (substantiated allegations), the number of children entering foster care, and the percentage of children maintaining their family connections while in foster care.

Children's Hospital at Night

How is San Bernardino County Doing?

Reversing a six-year trend, child abuse and neglect reports for San Bernardino County decreased in 2018:

  • In 2018, San Bernardino County had 9.0 substantiated child abuse and neglect allegations per 1,000 children, higher than all neighboring counties compared except Los Angeles (10.0 substantiations per 1,000 children).
  • For children from birth through age five, the rate of substantiated allegations is 13.3 per 1,000 children, compared with California’s rate of 10.6 per 1,000 children.
  • Between 2017 and 2018, there was an 10% decline in the number of substantiated child abuse and neglect allegations, from 5,789 to 5,194 reports.

Substantiated Allegations and Foster Care Entries

San Bernardino County, 2006-2018
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There was also a decrease in the number of children entering the foster care system:

  • In 2018, there were 2,888 children entering foster care, down 12% from 2017 when 3,269 children entered foster care.
  • When looking at the relationship between substantiated allegations and foster care placement, 56% of substantiated allegations in San Bernardino County resulted in foster care placement, a much higher proportion than the state and all counties compared.
  • San Bernardino County’s rate of children entering foster care (5.0 per 1,000 children) is greater than the statewide average of 3.0 per 1,000 children and all other counties compared.
  • The rate of foster care entry is higher for children from birth through age five (7.9 per 1,000 children). California’s rate for children birth through age five entering foster care is 4.7 per 1,000 children.

Substantiated Allegations and Foster Care Entries

County Comparison, 2018
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The proportion of children placed with relatives remained steady:

  • According to a point-in-time count on January 1, 2019, 32.2% of the children in foster care were placed with relatives, relatively unchanged from 32.0% in 2018.
  • San Bernardino County rate of placement with relatives ranks in the middle among all neighboring counties compared and is lower than California’s rate of relative placement (36.3%).
  • In San Bernardino County, 74.0% of the children in foster care were placed with some or all of their siblings and 48.8% of the children were placed with all siblings (compared with the state placement rates of 71.9% and 51.2%, respectively). San Bernardino County’s placement with siblings ranks highest among neighboring counties.

Foster Youth Placed with Some or All Siblings

County Comparison and California, January 2019
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