National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Findings on Local CPS Practices. 5.1 Responsibility for CPS functions

05/01/2003

The survey asked CPS agencies to indicate their role and degree of responsibility in connection with each of the primary CPS functions — screening, investigation, and alternative response. Specifically, for each of several forms of maltreatment, agencies were asked to indicate whether they were the lead agency with sole responsibility, were the lead agency sharing responsibility with another agency, supported another agency/agencies, or had no responsibility.

More CPS agencies had lead responsibility across all types of maltreatment for the screening function than for the investigation or alternative response functions (Table 5-1). While 50 percent of CPS agencies had lead responsibility for the screening function, just 17 percent of CPS agencies had lead responsibility for investigations across all types of maltreatment. Similarly, only 9 percent of CPS agencies had lead responsibility for the alternative response function across all types of maltreatment. For the investigation and alternative response functions, the majority of agencies had a range of responsibilities (e.g., lead some, support some, and share some) depending on the specific type of maltreatment.

Table 5-1:
Overall Level of Responsibility for Different CPS Functions
Responsibility Screening Investigation Alternative Response
Estimate
(C.I.) *
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Lead for all types of maltreatment 1,290
(1,120-1,470)
50% 450
(330-570)
17% 140
(80-200)
9%
Share for all types of maltreatment 350
(230-470)
13% 220
(140-300)
8% 60
(10-120)
4%
Support for all types of maltreatment 50
(10-100)
2% 20
(0-40)
1% 10
(0-20)
<1%
No responsibility 40
(0-80)
1% --- --- 610
(450-770)
37%
Other (lead some, support some, share some) 800
(630-960)
31% 1,910
(1,690-2,130)
73% 830
(690-970)
50%
Missing 70
(20-130)
3% 10
(0-30)
<1% 10
(0-20)
1%
Total 2,610
(2,410-2,810)
100% 2,610
(2,410-2,810)
100% 1,660
(1,460-1,860)
100%
Note: Numbers in italics are based on 10 or fewer agencies.
*The 95 percent confidence interval (C.I.) indicates that, if the study were to be repeated with the same methodology 100 times, 95 of the replications would produce an estimate within the interval.