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

05/01/2003

The recent implementation of some specific changes differed depending on the administrative structure of the agencies (Table 7-34). In terms of changes related to staff training, it was more common for agencies in State-administered systems (35%) to report implementing changes in the last 6 months than it was for agencies in county-administered systems (19%) or for agencies in State-administered systems with strong county structure (23%).

Some implemented changes were more common among county-administered agencies. For example, agencies in county-administered systems (9%) had implemented more changes during screening in the amount of interaction with reporter and collaterals than had agencies in either State-administered systems (3%) or State-administered systems with strong county structure (3%). Likewise, it was more common for agencies in county-administered systems (14%) to have implemented changes in the use of multidisciplinary teams than it was for agencies in either State-administered systems (7%) or State-administered systems with strong county structure (5%).

Table 7-34:
Percentage of CPS Agencies that Had Implemented Changes
Change implemented State-administered County-administered State-administered with strong county structure
Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Staff traininga 380
(260-510)
35% 190
(130-250)
19% 130
(50-210)
23%
Amount of interaction with reporter and collateralsa 30
(0-60)
3% 90
(40-130)
9% 20
(0-40)
3%
Use of multidisciplinary teams during the investigationc 80
(21-140)
7% 140
(90-180)
14% 30
(0-70)
5%
a X2=6.94, p<.05
a X2=6.22, p<.05
a X2=6.75, p<.05
Note: Numbers in italics are based on 10 or fewer agencies.

Differences depending on administrative structure also emerged for a few of the changes that agencies had considered during the preceding 6 months (Table 7-35). Agencies in county-administered systems (19%) were more likely to have considered changes during the past 6 months related to screening/intake responses options than were State-administered agencies (11%) or agencies in State-administered systems with strong county structure (2%). The same pattern emerged for changes related to the processing of referrals, the amount of interaction with family and/or child during the investigation, and the use of multidisciplinary teams during the investigation response. More county-administered agencies had considered changes in each of these areas when compared to either State-administered agencies or agencies in State-administered systems with strong county structure.

Table 7-35:
Percentage of CPS Agencies that Had Considered Changes
Change considered State-administered County-administered State-administered with strong county structure
Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent Estimate
(C.I.)
Percent
Screening/intake response optionsc 120
(50-190)
11% 180
(120-240)
19% 10
(0-30)
2%
Processing of referralsd 100
(30-170)
9% 120
(80-160)
13% <10
(0-10)
1%
Amount of interaction with family and/or child during the investigatione 60
(20-90)
5% 110
(60-160)
12% 10
(0-30)
2%
Use of multidisciplinary teams during the investigationf 30
(0-70)
3% 110
(60-150)
11% 30
(0-70)
6%
Agency requirements for staff qualificationsa 150
(70-230)
14% 50
(10-90)
5% 200
(100-300)
36%
Information technologyb 320
(220-430)
30% 170
(120-220)
18% 50
(0-100)
9%
a X2=14.16, p<.001
b X2=9.49, p<.01
c X2=11.59, p<.01
d X2=7.99, p<.05
e X2=9.11, p<.01
f X2=6.11, p<.05
Note: Numbers in italics are based on 10 or fewer agencies.

Different patterns emerged when examining some other changes. Agencies operating under State-administered systems (14%) or county-administered systems (5%) were much less likely to have considered changes during the last 6 months in the agency requirements for staff qualifications compared to agencies operating under State-administered systems with strong county structure (36%). Finally, 30 percent of agencies in State-administered systems indicated that they had considered changes related to information technology. The corresponding percentage for agencies in county-administered systems was 18 percent. Just 9 percent of agencies in State-administered systems with strong county structure had considered changes in information technology.