National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Findings on Local CPS Practices. Degree of Change in CPS Agencies

05/01/2003

State- and county-administered agencies had less stable processes than agencies in State-administered systems with strong county structure in terms of the investigation and alternative response functions (Table 7-33). For more than one-quarter (29%) of CPS agencies in State-administered systems and 21 percent of agencies in county-administered systems, the investigative process had been in place for just 1 to 2 years. Agencies in State-administered systems with strong county structure had more longstanding investigative processes, as just 9 percent of these agencies reported that their investigative process had been in place for 1 to 2 years. Instead, for 43 percent of CPS agencies in State-administered systems with strong county structure their investigative process had been in place 5 to 10 years.

A similar pattern is seen for the alternative response function. The alternative response process had been in place for 1 to 2 years for higher percentages of agencies in State-administered (18%) and county-administered systems (21%), compared to just 8 percent of agencies in State-administered systems with strong county structure. Moreover, the alternative response process had been in place for 5 to 10 years for one-half of agencies in this latter group.

Table 7-33:
Length of Time Current Process in Place
Process State-administered County -administered State-administered with strong county structure
Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Investigation processa
Process in place 1-2 years 320
(220-420)
29% 210
(140-280)
21% 50
(0-100)
9%
Process in place 3-4 years 80
(20-140)
7% 200
(130-270)
21% 110
(30-190)
21%
Process in place 5-10 years 270
(180-350)
24% 370
(280-450)
38% 240
(130-240)
43%
Process in place more than 10 years 250
(130-270)
23% 110
(70-160)
12% 30
(0-70)
5%
Missing 180
(100-250)
16% 80
(40-120)
8% 120
(40-200)
22%
Total 1,100 100% 960 100% 550 100%
Alternative response processb
Process in place 1-2 years 140
(70-210)
18% 120
(80-160)
21% 30
(0-70)
8%
Process in place 3-4 years 70
(30-110)
9% 110
(70-160)
20% 40
(0-80)
11%
Process in place 5-10 years 230
(150-300)
30% 200
(140-250)
35% 170
(80-260)
50%
Process in place more than 10 years 230
(120-330)
30% 60
(20-110)
11% 20
(0-60)
6%
Missing 100
(40-150)
13% 70
(40-110)
13% 90
(20-150)
25%
Total 760 100% 570 100% 340 100%
a X2=22.59, p<.001 (excludes missing)
b X2=15.16, p<.01 (excludes missing)
Note: Numbers in italics are based on 10 or fewer agencies.