National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Findings on Local CPS Practices. 5.3 Responsibility for Different Types of Perpetrators

05/01/2003

The survey also asked a series of questions to determine the degree of shared responsibility for cases involving different types of perpetrators. Overall, similar percentages of CPS agencies shared lead responsibility for investigations across the different types of perpetrators (Table 5-6). Approximately one-third of CPS agencies shared lead responsibility for conducting investigations when the perpetrator was a family member or relative (39%), a foster parent (37%), a staff member at a group home or institution (36%), or a minor (35%).

While fewer CPS agencies shared lead responsibility for the alternative response function, again the percentages were similar across the different types of perpetrators (Table 5-7). Around one-fifth of agencies with an alternative response shared lead responsibility with other agencies when the perpetrator was a family member or relative (20%), a foster parent (16%), a staff member at a group home or institution (20%), or a minor (21%). Under alternative response, many agencies did not have responsibility for cases when the perpetrator was a foster parent (43%), a group home or facility staff person (48%), or a minor (36%).

Perpetrator Lead Share Support None Missing Total
Table 5-6:
Responsibility for Investigation by Perpetrator Type
Family member or relative 56% 39% 2% <1% 3% 100%
Foster parent 37% 37% 20% 3% 3% 100%
Group home or institution staff 23% 36% 23% 14% 4% 100%
Minor 41% 35% 12% 6% 5% 100%
Not a caregiver 7% 12% 34% 45% 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.

 

Perpetrator Lead Share Support None Missing Total
Table 5-7:
Responsibility for Alternative Response by Perpetrator Type
Family member or relative 41% 20% 3% 31% 5% 100%
Foster parent 23% 16% 14% 43% 4% 100%
Group home or institution staff 11% 20% 19% 48% 2% 100%
Minor 28% 21% 11% 36% 4% 100%
Not a caregiver 11% 5% 30% 51% 3% 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 1,660 agencies.

The preceding tables also revealed that CPS agencies were very commonly involved with other agencies in some capacity across the different types of perpetrators. Further analyses found that for most types of perpetrators these agencies shared lead responsibility more often with law enforcement than with any other type of agency. A substantial minority of CPS agencies (41%) shared lead responsibility with law enforcement when the perpetrator was a family member or relative (Table 5-8). Thirty percent shared responsibility with law enforcement when the perpetrator was a minor. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of CPS agencies reported sharing lead responsibility with law enforcement when the perpetrator was the child's foster parent, while 17 percent shared when the alleged perpetrator was a staff person from a group home or institution. Only 13 percent of CPS agencies shared lead responsibility with law enforcement for noncaregiver perpetrators.

  Law Enforcement Agencies Other, Nonlaw Enforcement Agencies
Table 5-8:
CPS Agency Involvement with Law Enforcement and Other Agencies for Different Types of Perpetrators
Agency Involvement Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Share for family member or relative 1,070
(910-1,230)
41% 80
(30-130)
3%
Share for minor 770
(630-910)
30% 210
(130-290)
8%
Share for foster parent 610
(490-740)
24% 430
(320-530)
16%
Share for group home or institution staff 440
(330-540)
17% 580
(450-710)
22%
Share for noncaregivers 350
(240-450)
13% 30
(0-60)
1%
Note: Percentages are not additive because agencies were included in each applicable row (category).
Note: Cells in italics are based on 10 or fewer agencies.

Other, nonlaw enforcement agencies were also involved with CPS agencies for different types of perpetrators (Table 5-8). However, with one exception, sharing with other nonlaw enforcement agencies was relatively rare. Very few nonlaw enforcement agencies were involved in responding to maltreatment perpetrated by a family member or relative (3%), minor (8%), foster parent (16%), or noncaregiver (1%). CPS agencies were somewhat more likely to share lead responsibility with other nonlaw enforcement agencies for maltreatment perpetrated by a staff member at a group home or institution.