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


The analysis by administrative structure found a number of situations where screening practices were different for different types of agencies. State-administered agencies were more likely to handle referrals from non-English speakers with regular or on call staff. However, agencies in State-administered systems were less likely to automatically accept certain referrals. When they did automatically accept referrals, these agencies were also less likely to automatically accept from mandated reporters. Rather, they more often automatically accepted from specific agencies.

County-administered agencies were different from the other agency types in a number of areas. County-administered agencies were more likely to utilize on-call workers to cover referrals received during non-business hours. Not surprisingly, these agencies were also more likely to screen locally and less likely to receive referrals from the State hotline and to receive response recommendations from the State hotline. In terms of processing referrals, two specific screening activities were different for agencies in county-administered systems. These agencies searched CPS records and used safety assessment tools considerably less often than other agencies.