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Differential Response and Data American Humane 2007 Conference on Differential Response in Child Welfare Patricia Schene, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Differential Response and Data American Humane 2007 Conference on Differential Response in Child Welfare Patricia Schene, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Differential Response and Data American Humane 2007 Conference on Differential Response in Child Welfare Patricia Schene, Ph.D.

2 Data Issues raised by Differential Response Implementation b How to count abused/neglected children when substantiation decision not documented b Documenting facts of case even when not focusing on investigation b Tracking progress and outcomes when case is not officially open to child welfare but served in community b Revisiting what data is important to collect

3 Outline of Presentation b Purposes of gathering data on child maltreatment b How national data is currently collected, analyzed, and utilized b Definitions of recurrence, re-victimization, re-entry, rates of confirmation b What are the important facts to document and track related to child maltreatment?

4 Purposes of Data on Child Maltreatment b Understand magnitude of the problem; analyze rates of CAN across jurisdictions and across time b Identify/track perpetrators to protect children b Commonality of meaning required across jurisdictions within and among states b Utilize the data to improve CW practice

5 Purposes of data collection…. b Understand the impact of our interventions b Understand the demographics of the problem of child maltreatment -- age vulnerabilities, types of maltreatment, race, gender, relationships to perpetrators, etc. b Ascertain connections of CW with other social problems and develop needed resources

6 Current National Data Collection b Enormous efforts have been undertaken to have national data follow common definitional categories- NCANDS b NCANDS can count number of reports, number of victims (children on substantiated or indicated reports), types of maltreatment, severity,court involvement, services provided, demographics, relationships of children to alleged perpetrators…etc.

7 National Data Collection... b NCANDS is vitally important to give us the national analysis of child maltreatment b This data helps support national and state level policies to address CAN, resources for the children and families involved, and some direction as to needed services b With the advent of Differential Response, some systemic issues arise

8 National Data Collection b With the implementation of DR, normally there is no documentation of the findings of the investigation, ( thesubstantiation decision) for all the reports on the alternative response track. b This means there is no record of victimization and therefore no ability to include these reports when counting victims or even recurrence/recidivism as opposed to simply re-reporting

9 National Data Collection... b 30% rate of confirmed maltreatment in national data understates problem of CAN b Another major issue presented by DR is that the cases on the alternative response track are often served in the community and sometimes not opened to CPS. This presents challenges to data systems trying to track services provided, progress toward outcomes, as well as continued or repeated maltreatment and patterns of harm

10 Data Issues highlighted by DR b We have long realized that the criteria for substantiation is much more complex than did it happen and that jurisdictions vary over time and among each other as to what is labeled a substantiated report b The substantiation rate has decreased over time independent of DR -- issues such as higher criteria of severity, limitations of resources, etc. play a role

11 Data Issues... b The three National Incidence Studies indicate that many more children are known by professionals to be abused/neglected than are reported or screened in for response -- therefore we cannot depend on official reporting data to give us the full picture or full count of abused/neglected children

12 Data Issues... b We also know empirically that many children/families -- reported to CPS or not -- are served in their communities in ways that address parenting issues. These have never been fully accounted for in understanding the impact of services on CAN b Of course, many children and families are not served whether reported or not

13 Discussion: What data should be collected? b Even before DR, our data had limitations, but within those limitations having a national data set on CAN has been very useful b How can we use example of DR and the data issues highlighted to determine what we could collect if DR continues to spread and more than half the reports are on tracks alternative to investigation

14 Ideas --What data should be collected? b Number of reports; number of children re- reported, responses/interventions as a result of all prior reports b Documentation of what actually happened to child even if case is not substantiated, and we are not assigning responsibility b Willingness of parent to participate in services; commitment over time

15 What data should be collected? b Need for court involvement b Commitment/involvement of larger family system b Continued concern of the community - re- contacting reporters/others b Presence of services that respond to assessed needs; parental involvement in services b Family progress towards outcomes

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