National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Review of State CPS Policy. Purpose

04/01/2003

State policies emphasized different purposes of alternative response options. (See table 5–D.) (Responses were not mutually exclusive.)

  • Eleven States (55.0%) identified child safety as a purpose of the alternative response;
  • Nine States (45.0%) identified family preservation or strengthening as a purpose of the response; and
  • Four States (20.0%)identified preventing child abuse and neglect as a purpose.

These broad categories included such descriptions as follows:

  • Support the ability of CPS to respond to all reports;
  • Provide a response to physical abuse that does not require criminal investigation and allows for necessary services;
  • Provide a modified approach for those families with low risk. Provide less threatening community-based assessment, thus hopefully leading to more receptiveness of services;
  • Determine and facilitate appropriate service responses for families not within the required mandate but who would benefit from services;
  • Assess the situation and create a safety plan for lower-risk cases, thus leaving the more serious allegations to the investigative track;
  • Provide services without assigning blame for nonabuse and neglect reports;
  • Emphasize partnering the families with the community and creating a network for the family;
  • Protect children and assist parents to recognize and remedy conditions harmful to their children;
  • Provide preventive services before the need of CPS involvement is required; and
  • Prevent the family from potentially being re-referred.

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