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Child Abuse Negl. 2000 Mar;24(3):375-88.

Alternative responses to child protective services: emerging issues and concerns.

Author information

1
Children's Administration, Office of Children's Administration Research, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Olympia 98504-5701, USA.

Abstract

PROBLEM:

Increased calls to "do something" about child protective services (CPS) have resulted in proposals or new "paradigms" for services to at-risk or abusive families. These new paradigms call for the reform or revamping of CPS through the development of a community-based alternative response to some reports of child abuse and/or neglect.

METHOD:

This article reports on outcomes for 1,263 "low" risk CPS referrals diverted to a community-based alternative response system. Data on child, family, and case characteristics and services provided are presented as well as outcomes associated with re-referral and placement post service provision.

RESULTS:

The risk level and severity of some of the referrals to alternative response systems seems inappropriately high. The rates of re-referral were similar for families who did or did not engage in assessment services, and were highest for families where domestic violence was present.

CONCLUSIONS:

Criteria for diversion to community alternatives to CPS must be clearly articulated and applied. Both CPS and alternative response system workers must have the skills required to address a family's recognition of the problem and degree of motivation to engage in problem resolution, and to understand their relationship to continued risk of CA/N.

Comment in

PMID:
10739081
DOI:
10.1016/s0145-2134(99)00151-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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