Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mandated Reporters, Outcomes of Referrals

In a recent report by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, "Outcomes of Referrals to Child Protective Services: Comparing Reporters", the authors found variations in the outcomes of referrals from the various individuals mandated to report and investigate suspected child abuse or neglect.
... [E]ducators and social services professionals make more reports to CPS than other types of reporters. Compared with other reporters, referrals from law enforcement were more likely to both be accepted for investigation and result in removal of a child from his or her home. The largest variation in outcomes, however, was not determined by reporter type. ... [T]he region and the history of the individual intake worker were the stronger predictors of the initial risk assigned to a referral. Intake workers with a history of assigning higher levels of risk than their peers (which results in investigation and intervention) were more likely to continue to assign higher levels of risk.
Would these variations influence racial disparities as well? Policies to achieve racial equity in child welfare.

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