Assessing the Feasibility of Creating and Maintaining a National Registry of Child Maltreatment Perpetrators: Research Report. 3.3 FUTURE CAPACITY

09/01/2012

With the implementation of a national registry, States would still be responsible for providing any additional information that was requested beyond what was in the registry. Once the data were provided to the national registry, within the parameters of limiting access to the national registry, any information provided would be available to every inquirer.

The current discussion of a national registry limits the specific data elements that would be provided by the State to name, type of maltreatment, and State. All States are able to provide additional information, which would be necessary to adequately support the identification of perpetrators.

Technical Capacity

The majority of States (80.6%) have data in their repositories going back 10 years or more. In over two-thirds of the States (69.4%), the repositories contain information on all child maltreatment perpetrators regardless of legal action. More than one-half (52.8%) contain information on alleged perpetrators. Fewer States limit the repositories to perpetrators who have been convicted of civil offenses or perpetrators who have been convicted of criminal offenses. One State includes only perpetrators who are parents or adults acting in loco parentis. (See tables 16 and 17.)

In State data repositories, which are synonymous with child welfare information systems, case-level and perpetrator-level data are extensive. Data are more restricted in repositories limited solely to perpetrators. Such repositories may contain only minimal child-victim data.

All States recognize that there may be issues related to the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the data on perpetrators. Eighty percent responded that all, nearly all, or most perpetrators were on the State data repository. While only one-third (36.1%) thought that perpetrator data were very comprehensive and accurate, an additional 41.7 percent thought that the data were somewhat comprehensive and accurate. Thus three-quarters of the respondents were ready to vouch for the accuracy of the data.

When asked about all data on perpetrators, one-fifth thought that less than 5 percent of data were missing; another one-fifth thought that approximately 5–9 percent of data were missing. Thus missing data do not appear to be a problem.[48]

Of the most likely key information that could be requested, more than two-thirds of the States indicated that the following perpetrator data were available from the automated information system: (See table 18.)

  • name of perpetrator (97.2%)
  • date of birth or age (94.4%)
  • type(s) of substantiated maltreatment (94.4%)
  • sex/gender (91.7%)
  • race and ethnicity (91.7%)
  • date(s) of disposition(s) (88.9%)
  • relationship to child victim(s) (91.7%)
  • last known address (80.6%)
  • alternative names (72.2%)

The capacity of State information systems to submit data to a national registry mirrors the information that States are providing to inquirers, indicating that the State information systems would be the likely source of data to a national registry.

If a national registry restricted the classes of perpetrators who would be included in a national registry, all States might need to build routines that would exclude certain perpetrators from being included in the information sent to a national registry. Three-quarters (77.8%) said that they would be able to extract data on those perpetrators who had been notified under State law or policy, and two-thirds (66.7%) said that they could extract data on those whose findings were not under appeal or review.[49]

States varied in the frequency of reporting that they would find feasible. Approximately one-third (30.6%) responded that they could provide data as often as requested. More than a quarter of the States (27.8%) responded they would provide data once a year. More than a quarter (26.8%) could provide the data twice a year. In general, States had the technical capacity to provide the data, either duplicated or unduplicated, and for multiple years or for current reporting periods.[50]

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