1. The NCANDS data includes a field that indicates whether a child has previously been a victim of child maltreatment. There is no indication, however, whether a child has previously been included in a report of maltreatment, though not found to be a victim. When working with a single year of data it is not possible to identify children who may have been reported during previous years, but not victimized.
2. In New Jersey all alternative response-nonvictim reports were concerned with family problems such as homelessness, domestic violence, child or parent substance abuse, or parenting issues that pose a risk to the child. The majority of these cases only received a child welfare assessment. In instances where there was a family problem and an alleged maltreatment, an investigation was conducted, but if the allegations were not substantiated, these cases were considered to be family problem cases and were reported to NCANDS with an alternative response nonvictim disposition.
3. Louisiana and Ohio were excluded because less than 1 percent of dispositions in 2002 were alternative response.
4. These other dispositions included unsubstantiated due to intentionally false reporting, other, and unknown or missing.
5. These services include: post investigation services; family support services; family preservation services; adoption services; case management; counseling services; child daycare services; educational and training services; employment services; family planning services; health-related and home health services; home-based services; housing services; independent and transitional living services; information and referral services; legal services; mental health services; pregnancy and parenting services for young parents; respite care services; special services disabled; special services juvenile delinquent; substance abuse services; transportation services; and other services.
6. Nine children with unknown dispositions were excluded.
7. It is not known whether these children experienced previous reports, investigations, or alternative response in previous years, because these data were not linked to data from previous years. The prior victimization field was not considered.
8. In New Jersey, families that were reported for parenting issues that pose a risk for the child were given a family assessment (alternative response) and reported to NCANDS as having an unknown maltreatment type rather than neglect.
9. The number of children whose families had a reported history of family violence was very small (7% of children), so the percentage of children without such a history who received an alternative response mirrors the percentage in the full dataset.
10. The decision points in the figure indicate whether the child received an alternative response or an investigation in response to his or her first report of maltreatment within the reporting period. Among those in each group, as well as those investigated children who were found to be either victims or nonvictims, the figure separates those who experienced a second response from the CPS system within 6 months of the first report with those who did not. Next, groups split into those for whom this second response was alternative, and those who received an investigation, and finally those who received an investigation were separated into victims and nonvictims.
11. Less than 10 percent of children had any of these risk factors, so the percentage of children without such risk factors who received an alternative response mirrors the percentage in the full dataset.
12. This is considered an information and referral call.
13. Approximately 6 percent of children had a history of family violence and 15 percent had evidence of caretaker substance abuse, so the percentage of children without such risk factors who received an alternative response mirrors the percentage in the full dataset.
14. These other dispositions were not alternative response; they included uncertain, a disposition made when an investigation was completed, but there was still insufficient information to confirm or rule out the maltreatment.
15. Less than 1 percent of children had a recorded history of caretaker substance abuse, so the percentage of children without this risk factor who received an alternative response mirrors the percentage in the full dataset.
"report.pdf" (pdf, 1.29Mb)