National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts: Site Visits Report . Overview of Child Protective Services (CPS)


CPS in Pennsylvania is focused only on serious cases of child neglect. Less serious cases are handled by the income assistance agency under the general protective services (GPS).

Under the reform of CPS, the director created a separate intake function to address problems of calls being assigned inappropriately. The position was placed under the Special Services Unit, rather than under CPS, to give the Intake staff a degree of autonomy when referring cases. Calls are referred to the supervisor of the Special Services Unit who assigns the cases for investigation. Workers viewed the creation of a dedicated intake worker as a positive change for the agency. Supervisors and workers feel there is an increased consistency with intakes — which allows investigators time to focus and follow through with investigations — and results in a positive service to the community.

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