Selecting Social Indicators to Forecast Child Welfare Caseload

  • Raghubar D. Sharma Research and Outcome Measurement Branch, Strategic Policy and Planning Division, Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Toronto Ontario


The purpose of this study is to identify an optimum number of social indicators that provide maximum predictability of child welfare caseloads. The analysis is based on cross-sectional data pooled from the 1996 and 2001 censuses. The unit of analysis is the census division. From an exhaustive review of literature on social indicators and child welfare, we identified ten risk factors. Then, we identified social indicators that were statistically associated with the risk factors. After measuring the statistical association between social indictors with child welfare caseload, this study develops regression models to select and narrow down a list of social indicators with the highest predictability.