National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Findings on Local CPS Practices. 4.3 Worker and Supervisor Roles

05/01/2003

The survey also gathered information about the roles of workers and supervisors in the decisionmaking process. Specifically, agencies were asked about the workers and supervisors who are assigned to conduct the response and make a final determination as to maltreatment or services.

The majority of local CPS agencies (79%) assigned investigations involving a child or household currently under investigation to a caseworker with experience with the family (Table 4-16). Agencies most often assigned referrals involving a child with prior substantiated reports and those involving prior unsubstantiated reports to the next available worker (71% and 76%, respectively). Agencies were split regarding who would be assigned to a case when the child or household was currently receiving home or foster care services — some agencies preferred to assign a caseworker with experience in working with the family and others preferred to assign the next available caseworker.

For both responses, agencies were consistent in describing who makes the final determination about maltreatment during the response. Under both investigation and alternative response, decisions were made by workers with supervisory review (Tables 4-17 and 4-18).

Referral type Worker experienced with family Next available worker Other worker providing services Worker from other agency Missing Total
Table 4-16:
Assigned Worker by Referral Type
Child or household currently investigated 79% 18% --- --- 3% 100%
Child or household currently receiving in-home services 43% 39% 14% --- 4% 100%
Child or household currently receiving foster care services 32% 39% 10% --- 19% 100%
Child or household not currently served, but one or more prior substantiated reports 27% 71% <1% --- 2% 100%
Child or household not currently served, but all prior reports unsubstantiated 21% 76% 1% --- 2% 100%
Note: Percentages are not additive because agencies were included in each applicable row (category).
Note: Numbers in italics are based on 10 or fewer agencies.
Note: Percentages are based on weighted total of 2,610 agencies.

 

Worker/supervisor Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Table 4-17:
Who Makes Final Maltreatment Determination During Investigation Response
Worker alone 40
(0-80)
1%
Worker with supervisory review 2,260
(2,060-2,470)
87%
Supervisor alone 30
(0-70)
1%
Not applicable 230
(140-320)
9%
Missing 50
(10-90)
2%
Total 2,610
(2,410-2,810)
100%
Note: Numbers in italics are based on 10 or fewer agencies.

 

Worker/supervisor Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Table 4-18:
Who Makes Final Services Determination During Alternative Response
Worker alone 20
(0-30)
1%
Worker with supervisory review 1,550
(1,340-1,750)
93%
Supervisor alone 10
(0-30)
1%
Not applicable 60
(10-100)
3%
Missing 30
(0-60)
2%
Total 1,660
(1,460-1,860)
100%
Note: Numbers in italics are based on 10 or fewer agencies.