Beyond Investigations: Differential Response in Child Protective Services

Chapter
Part of the Child Maltreatment book series (MALT, volume 2)

Abstract

Until relatively recently, the only way that most Child Protective Services (CPS) systems could respond to allegations of child abuse and neglect was through an investigation. Concerns with certain elements of this forensic approach to child protection led to the development of a CPS reform known as Differential Response. This chapter will describe the key elements of a Differential Response approach to child protective services and highlight how it differs from a traditional investigative approach. Although a core set of practice elements have been defined that characterize Differential Response systems, wide variations in practice exist between systems, several of which will be described. As with most child welfare interventions, rigorous research on the effectiveness of Differential Response systems is limited, but quickly growing. A summary and critical review of the current evidence is provided, as well as suggestions for next steps.

Keywords

Child Welfare Differential Response Child Protection Child Protective Service Child Safety 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bae, H., Solomon, P. L., & Gelles, R. J. (2009). Multiple child maltreatment recurrence relative to single recurrence and no recurrence. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 617–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown, B. (2012). Building a multi-site evaluation of differential response. Protecting Children, 26, 60–68.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, B., Merkel-Holguin, L., & Hahn, A. (2012). Differential response: Early implementation and fidelity. Cross-site report of the national quality improvement center on differential response in child protective services. Englewood: National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services.Google Scholar
  4. Buckley, H., Carr, N., & Whelan, S. (2011). ‘Like walking on eggshells’: Service user views and expectations of the child protection system. Child and Family Social Work, 16, 101–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Campbell, K. A., Cook, L. J., LaFluer, B. J., & Keenan, H. T. (2010). Household, family, and child risk factors after an investigation for suspected child maltreatment. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 164, 943–949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Center for Child and Family Policy. (2006). Multiple Response System (MRS) evaluation report to the North Carolina Division of Social Services (NCDSS). Raleigh: Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University.Google Scholar
  7. Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2008). Differential response to reports of child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  8. Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2012). How the child welfare system works. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  9. Dumbrill, G. C. (2006). Parental experience of child protection intervention: A qualitative study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 30, 27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Forrester, D., Westlake, D., & Glynn, G. (2012). Parental resistance and social worker skills: Towards a theory of motivational social work. Child and Family Social Work, 17, 118–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gallagher, M., Smith, M., Wosu, H., Stewart, J., Hunter, S., Cree, V. E., et al. (2011). Engaging with families in child protection: Lessons from practitioner research in Scotland. Child Welfare, 90, 117–134.Google Scholar
  12. Harris, N. (2012). Assessment: When does it help and when does it hinder? Parents’ experiences of the assessment process. Child & Family Social Work, 17, 180–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hughes, R.C., Rycus, J.S., Saunders-Adams, S.M., Hughes, L.K., & Hughes, K.N. (in press). Issues in differential response. Research on Social Work Practice.Google Scholar
  14. Kearney, K. A., Fuller, T. L., Jones, W., & McEwen, E. (2012). Putting it all together: Lessons learned from the planning and development phases of implementing differential response in Illinois. Protecting Children, 26, 8–20.Google Scholar
  15. Lawrence, C. N., Rosanbalm, K. D., & Dodge, K. A. (2011). Multiple response system: Evaluation of policy change in North Carolina’s child welfare system. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 2355–2365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lipsey, M., Howell, J., Kelly, M., Chapman, G., & Carver, D. (2010). Improving the effectiveness of juvenile justice programs: A new perspective on evidence-based practice. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform.Google Scholar
  17. Loman, L. A. (2006). Families frequently encountered by child protective services: A report on chronic child abuse and neglect. St. Louis: Institute of Applied Research.Google Scholar
  18. Loman, L. A., & Siegel, G. L. (2004a). Minnesota alternative response evaluation: Final report. St. Louis: Institute of Applied Research.Google Scholar
  19. Loman, L. A., & Siegel, G. L. (2004b). Differential response in Missouri after five years: Final report. St. Louis: Institute of Applied Research.Google Scholar
  20. Loman, L. A., & Siegel, G. L. (2012). Ohio alternative response evaluation extension interim report. St. Louis: Institute of Applied Research.Google Scholar
  21. Loman, L. A., Filonow, C. S., & Siegel, G. (2010). Ohio alternative response evaluation: Final report. St. Louis: Institute of Applied Research.Google Scholar
  22. Marley, L., & Kaplan, C. (2011). Formal public child welfare responses to screened-out reports of alleged maltreatment. Englewood: National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services.Google Scholar
  23. Merkel-Holguin, L., Kaplan, C., & Kwak, A. (2006). National study on differential response in child welfare. Englewood: American Humane Association and Child Welfare League of America.Google Scholar
  24. National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services (QIC-DR). (2009). Request for applications for research and demonstration. Englewood: Author.Google Scholar
  25. National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response in Child Protective Services (QIC-DR). (2011). Differential response in child protective services: A literature review (Version 2). Englewood: Author.Google Scholar
  26. Nolan, C., Blankenship, J., & Sneddon, D. (2012). Research and practice advancements in differential response. Protecting Children, 26, 4–6.Google Scholar
  27. Platt, D. (2001). Refocusing children’s services: Evaluation of an initial assessment process. Child and Family Social Work, 6, 139–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ringeisen, H., Casanueva, C., Smith, K., & Dolan, M. (2011). NSCAW II baseline report: Caregiver health and services. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  29. Ruppel, J., Huang, Y., & Haulenbeek, G. (2011). Differential response in child protective services in New York State: Implementation, initial outcomes and impacts of pilot project. Albany: New York State Office of Children and Family Services.Google Scholar
  30. Sawyer, R., & Lohrback, S. (2005a). Differential response in child protection: Selecting a pathway. Protecting Children, 20, 44–53.Google Scholar
  31. Sawyer, R., & Lohrback, S. (2005b). Integrating domestic violence intervention into child welfare practice. Protecting Children, 20, 62–77.Google Scholar
  32. Schene, P. (2005). The emergence of differential response. Protecting Children, 20, 4–7.Google Scholar
  33. Seigel, G. L. (2012). Lessons from the beginning of differential response: Why is works and when it doesn’t. St. Louis: Institute of Applied Research.Google Scholar
  34. Shusterman, G. P., Hollinshead, D., Fluke, J. D., & Yuan, Y. (2005). Alternative responses to child maltreatment: Findings from NCANDS. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Retrieved August 20, 2012 from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/05/child-maltreat-resp/report.pdf
  35. Siegel, G. L., & Loman, L. A. (2006). Extended follow-up study of Minnesota’s family assessment response: Final report. St. Louis: Institute of Applied Research.Google Scholar
  36. Siegel, G. L., Filonow, C. S., & Loman, L. A. (2010). Differential response in Nevada final evaluation report. St. Louis: Institute of Applied Research.Google Scholar
  37. Thoburn, J., Lewis, A., & Shemmings, D. (1995). Family participation in child protection. Child Abuse Review, 4, 161–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. (1990). Child abuse and neglect: Critical first steps in response to a national emergency. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  39. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], Administration for Children and Families/Children’s Bureau and Office of the Assistant for Planning and Evaluation. (2003). National study of child protective services systems and reform efforts: Review of state CPS policies. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  40. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2011). Child maltreatment 2010. Retrieved from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm10/cm10.pdf
  41. Waldfogel, J. (1998). Rethinking the paradigm for child protection. The Future of Children, 8, 104–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Winokur, M., Drury, I., Batchelder, K., & Mackert, M. (2012). Decision point: Screening practice as the foundation for differential response. Protecting Children, 26, 32–49.Google Scholar
  43. Yatchmenoff, D. K. (2005). Measuring client engagement from the client’s perspective in nonvoluntary child protective services. Research on Social Work Practice, 15, 84–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yuan, Y. T. (2005). Potential policy implications of alternative response. Protecting Children, 20, 22–31.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children and Family Research Center School of Social WorkUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations