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Suicide and attempted suicide are more common in children and adolescents in care, but rates of attempted suicide are higher before entry into care than after

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Are children and adolescents in the child welfare system at increased risk for suicide and attempted suicide compared with those not in care, and do rates differ before and after entry into care?


8279 children and adolescents (aged 5–17 years) in the care of Manitoba's child and family services for the first time between 1997 and 2006, and a population-based control cohort of all 353 050 similarly aged children and adolescents in the region not in care. Those in care had to have been removed for the home, spent more than 30 days in care, be resident in Manitoba and be covered by Manitoba Health for the duration of the study period.


Manitoba, Canada; from 1997 to 2008.

Prognostic factors

Being in or entry into the care of child and family services. The model included in care status, age group (5–11 years, or 12–17 years), sex, socioeconomic status (defined as population income quintiles), parental psychopathology and psychiatric disorder as potential covariates. In analyses looking at rates of events before and after entry into care, the before period …

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  • Sources of funding Health Sciences Centre Foundation, Manitoba Health Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada.


  • Competing interests None.

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