National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Findings on Local CPS Practices. 6.6 Conclusion

05/01/2003

The findings present an interesting perspective on change in CPS among local agencies that suggests a fair degree of stability in the way that agencies have conducted the basic CPS functions. Approximately one-third of all agencies have not undertaken any major changes for a period of 4 years. However, approximately 75 percent of agencies reported having implemented some changes within the past 6 months. Examination of descriptive statements shows that changes were often related to particular processes within the overall broad functions of CPS. In other words, while there is overall stability, many modifications and adjustments are being conducted. When specific areas of change are examined, nearly one-third had implemented changes in training and the use of information technology; approximately 15 percent had implemented changes in realignment of functions, philosophy of services, staff qualifications, collaboration with domestic violence agencies, collaboration with other community agencies, use of community-based organizations as service providers, and the use of assessments or other tools. This survey is the first to attempt an estimate of how deeply changes have reached into the CPS field. This survey indicates that changes are not as deep at the local level as might have been assumed based on anecdotal accounts.