National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Findings on Local CPS Practices. 6.5 Changes in Investigation and Alternative Response

05/01/2003

Overall, CPS agencies had implemented or considered relatively few changes in the functional area of investigation during the prior 6 months. Nine percent of agencies had implemented changes related to their use of multidisciplinary teams during the investigative process. An additional 6 percent had considered making such changes. Six percent of CPS agencies had implemented changes related to the role of law enforcement in investigating referrals, while 10 percent indicated that they had considered such a change in the last 6 months. Five percent or fewer of CPS agencies had implemented each of a range of other changes in the investigative process (Table 6-7).

Table 6-7:
Changes in Investigation Response
Change Considered change Implemented change
Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Use of multidisciplinary teams 170
(100-240)
6% 240
(160-330)
9%
Role of law enforcement in investigating referrals 270
(170-370)
10% 150
(70-220)
6%
Use of risk assessments or other tools 230
(150-320)
9% 140
(80-200)
5%
Use of Child Advocacy Centers 210
(130-290)
8% 140
(70-210)
5%
Definitions of maltreatment 130
(60-200)
5% 140
(40-230)
5%
Amount of interaction with family and/or child 180
(110-240)
7% 70
(20-120)
3%
Other changes related to response 80
(80-130)
3% 70
(20-120)
3%
Central registries 190
(110-180)
7% 90

(30-150)

3%
Use of other mechanisms for joint investigation 80
(30-130)
3% 60
(20-110)
2%
Classification of referrals at end of response 130
(70-190)
5% 50
(10-100)
2%
* 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.

Similar to the investigation function, few agencies were implementing or considering changes in the alternative response function (Table 6-8). Nine percent of CPS agencies had implemented changes during the prior 6 months in their use of risk assessment or other tools during their alternative response function. An additional 9 percent of agencies had considered such changes. A few agencies had implemented (7%) or considered (3%) changes related to their use of multidisciplinary teams during the alternative response. The remaining changes in this area were implemented by fewer than 5 percent of CPS agencies.

Table 6-8:
Changes in Alternative Response
Change Considered change Implemented change
Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Use of risk assessments or other tools 140
(90-200)
9% 160
(60-250)
9%
Use of multidisciplinary teams 60
(10-100)
3% 120
(50-190)
7%
Classification of referrals at end of the response 90
(50-140)
6% 60
(30-100)
4%
Use of Child Advocacy Centers 70
(20-120)
4% 50
(0-90)
3%
Amount of interaction with family and/or child 90
(40-140)
5% 30
(10-60)
2%
Use of other mechanisms for joint investigation 40
(10-80)
3% 40

(10-60)

2%
Other changes related to response 20
(0-40)
1% 30
(0-60)
2%
* 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.