An Examination of the Reasons For Child Removal in Clark County, Nevada

Document Type



The factors precipitating child placement were examined in two randomly selected samples of protective custody cases that were brought before the family court in Clark County, Nevada during a one-year period. Methamphetamine use, homelessness, lack of resources, and physical abuse were factors frequently prompting placement. Homelessness was as prevalent in cases not involving meth or other drug use as in those that did. Police were involved in a large proportion of the cases, and children were more frequently placed in foster care facilities when they were. In many cases, the arrest and incarceration of parents on outstanding warrants unrelated to the immediate safety of the children precipitated the need for placement. Parents frequently received counseling for their substance abuse and other issues, but were rarely offered concrete assistance or any significant help with housing. The reallocation of resources from Child Haven, the emergency placement congregate care facility in which most children were initially placed, to the provision of direct assistance with housing and other concrete services, is recommended and discussed.


Child removal; Child welfare; Foster care


Social Work

Publisher Citation

Pelton, L.H. (2008). An examination of the reasons for child removal in Clark County, Nevada. Children and Youth Services Review, 30(7), 787-799.

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