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Child Protective Services: A Guide for Caseworkers. 2003
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau. DePanfilis, D., Salus, M. K.|
|Year Published: 2003|
Each day, the safety and well-being of some children across the Nation are threatened by child abuse and neglect. Intervening effectively in the lives of these children and their families is not the sole responsibility of any single agency or professional group, but rather is a shared community concern.
Since the late 1970s, the Child Abuse and Neglect User Manual Series has provided guidance on child protection to hundreds of thousands of multidisciplinary professionals and concerned community members. The User Manual Series offers a foundation for understanding child maltreatment and the roles and responsibilities of various practitioners in its prevention, identification, investigation, and treatment. Through the years, the manuals have served as valuable resources for building knowledge, promoting effective practices, and enhancing community collaboration.
Since the last update of the User Manual Series in the early 1990s, a number of changes have occurred that dramatically affect each community's response to child maltreatment. The changing landscape reflects increased recognition of the complexity of issues facing children and families, new legislation, practice innovations, and systems reform efforts. Significant advances in research have helped shape new directions for interventions, while ongoing evaluations help us to know "what works."
The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) within the Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), has developed this third edition of the User Manual Series to reflect our increased knowledge and the evolving state of practice on child protection. The updated and new manuals are comprehensive in scope while also succinct in presentation and easy to follow, and they address trends and concerns relevant to today's professional.
This manual, Child Protective Services: A Guide for Caseworkers, examines the roles and responsibilities of child protective services (CPS) workers, who are at the forefront of every community's child protection efforts. The manual describes the basic stages of the CPS process and the steps necessary to accomplish each stage: intake, initial assessment or investigation, family assessment, case planning, service provision, evaluation of family progress, and case closure. Best practices and critical issues in casework practice are underscored throughout. The primary audience for this manual includes CPS caseworkers, supervisors, and administrators. State and local CPS agency trainers may use the manual for preservice or inservice training of CPS caseworkers, while schools of social work may add it to class reading lists to orient students to the field of child protection. In addition, other professionals and concerned community members may consult the manual for a greater understanding of the child protection process.
This manual builds on the information presented in A Coordinated Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Foundation for Practice. Readers are encouraged to begin with that manual as it addresses important information on which CPS practice is based—including definitions of child maltreatment, risk factors, consequences, and the Federal and State basis for intervention. Some manuals in the series also may be of interest in understanding the roles of other professional groups in responding to child abuse and neglect, including:
- Substance abuse treatment providers
- Domestic violence victim advocates
- Law enforcement personnel
Other manuals address special issues, such as building partnerships and working with the courts on CPS cases.
User Manual Series
This manual—along with the entire Child Abuse and Neglect User Manual Series—is available from Child Welfare Information Gateway. Contact Information Gateway for a full list of available manuals and ordering information:
Child Welfare Information Gateway
1250 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20024
The manuals also are available online at www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanual.cfm.
This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.