ERIC Number: ED411974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Child Protective Services: Complex Challenges Require New Strategies. Report to the to the Honorable Nydia Velazquez, House of Representatives.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
At the request of the U.S. House of Representatives, this study identified problems confronting child protective service (CPS) units, which affect the system's capacity to protect children from abuse and neglect. State and local responses to these problems, and opportunities for the federal government to assist in improving the system's capacity to respond to children's needs were also determined. Information was obtained through literature review, interviews with state and federal officials, visits to CPS units in California, Florida, Missouri, and New York; and consultation with a panel of experts. Results indicate that the CPS system is in crisis because of overwhelming caseloads, increasingly complex social problems underlying child maltreatment especially related to substance abuse, and ongoing systemic weaknesses in daily operations, including difficulties in maintaining a skilled workforce, inconsistently implemented policies, lack of automated case management, and poor working relationships with courts. Responding to the crisis, states and localities are testing new service delivery strategies, including forming partnerships with families and community organizations. Programs in Missouri, Florida, California, and New York were cited as examples of innovative service delivery. Challenges to new strategies include adapting to new caseworker roles and addressing the underlying systemic weaknesses that diminish daily operational effectiveness. CPS units will need more focused support and expanded technical assistance from the federal government, including disseminating information on what other CPS units have tried and the outcomes of these experiments. (Appendices include a description of the methodology.) (Author/KB)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Child Welfare, Children, Federal Government, Government Role, Program Effectiveness, Program Implementation, Social Services, State Government, State Programs
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015; phone: 202-512-6000; fax: 301-258-4066; (First copy, free; additional copies $2 each).
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act