The degree to which CPS agencies share responsibility with other agencies varies by maltreatment type, with more agencies sharing responsibility for the more serious types of maltreatment. Notable percentages of CPS agencies shared responsibility for screening and intake of sexual abuse (39%) and of physical abuse (29%), while somewhat fewer CPS agencies shared lead responsibility with other agencies for neglect (19%) and other types of maltreatment (19%), (Table 5-2).
For the investigation response, more CPS agencies shared lead responsibility with other agencies for the more serious maltreatment allegations (Table 5-3). More than one-half of the agencies shared lead responsibility for investigation of cases that involved severe physical abuse (65%), severe sexual abuse (66%), moderate sexual abuse (68%), or a child fatality (51%). At the same time, CPS agencies typically had sole lead responsibility for investigating forms of maltreatment that are regarded as more of the province of social work than law enforcement. More than
one-half of agencies had lead responsibility when the case involved moderate physical abuse (50%), moderate neglect (78%), severe emotional maltreatment (70%), moderate emotional maltreatment (73%), lack of supervision (76%), abandonment (65%), or a drug exposed infant (64%). Also, CPS agencies typically had lead responsibility when the allegation involved risk of maltreatment.
The differences in CPS agency responsibility for the different types of maltreatment under the investigation and alternative responses were striking. Most agencies did not provide any alternative response for the more serious types of maltreatment (Table 5-4). More than one-half of CPS agencies did not provide alternative response for cases that involved severe physical abuse (57%), moderate physical abuse (52%), severe sexual abuse (55%), moderate sexual abuse (55%), severe neglect (55%), severe emotional maltreatment (52%), or status offenses (52%). Approximately one-quarter of agencies shared lead responsibility for the alternative response for severe physical abuse (22%), severe sexual abuse (26%), moderate sexual abuse (25%), or child fatality (23%).
The preceding tables revealed that, across the different types of maltreatment, CPS agencies often shared lead responsibility with other agencies, particularly for the screening and investigation functions. Further analyses examined the specific agencies that were involved in CPS functions for different types of maltreatment. CPS agencies shared lead responsibility with law enforcement more often than any other type of agency (Table 5-5). Nearly three-quarters of CPS agencies shared lead responsibility with law enforcement agencies for physical abuse (72%) and sexual abuse (70%).1 Fewer CPS agencies shared lead responsibility with law enforcement for neglect (58%) and emotional maltreatment (24%).
Since so few CPS agencies reported involvement by any single other type of agency, all nonlaw enforcement agencies were grouped together for these analyses. Nonlaw enforcement agencies include: juvenile justice agencies, mental health agencies, child advocacy centers or child protection teams, schools, centralized intake units, and licensing agencies. Just 17 percent of CPS agencies shared lead responsibility with other, nonlaw enforcement agencies for physical abuse while 18 percent shared lead responsibility for sexual abuse. The percentages for the other types of maltreatment were similarly low, with 17 percent of CPS agencies sharing lead responsibility for neglect and 20 percent sharing for other types of maltreatment.