Throughout the life of case, child protection workers may have to evaluate or make decisions related to risk, safety, case opening, substantiation, removal, and return. Resources include State and local examples.
Decision-making in Child Protective Services: Influences at Multiple Levels of the Social Ecology
Font & Maguire-Jack (2015)
Presents the findings of a study that analyzed how agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances influence substantiation and removal to out-of-home care decisions. The study relies upon the Decision-Making Ecology framework to understand how child protective service workers make case decisions.
Decision-Making in Child Welfare for Improved Safety Outcomes (PDF - 240 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Reviews current research around decision science and safety decision-making practices in child welfare to raise awareness regarding decision-making challenges and strategies for improved safety outcomes. This brief provides an overview of relevant child welfare safety assessment tools and decision-making theories and frameworks to expand agency knowledge on safety decision-making issues.
Out-of-Home Placement Decision-Making and Outcomes in Child Welfare: A Longitudinal Study (PDF - 487 KB)
Chor, McClelland, Jordan, Lyons, & Weiner (2015)
Presents the findings from a study of two placement decision-making models—a multidisciplinary team approach and a decision support algorithm using a standardized assessment—to examine statewide placement patterns and impact on children’s well-being. The study concludes with suggestions for out-of-home care placement practice and policy.
Community Perceptions and Foster Care Placement: A Multi-level Analysis (PDF - 477 KB)
Abner, Jantz, & Rolock (2015)
Children and Youth Services Review, 48
Presents the findings of study that examined the relationship between child- and community-level characteristics and the decision to place a child in foster care. The study analyzed data from the Chicago Community Adult Health Study and administrative data from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services over a three-year period.
Examination of Using Structured Decision Making and Predictive Analytics in Assessing Safety and Risk in Child Welfare (PDF - 622 KB)
Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection (2017)
Presents the findings of a report on the current use and identified strengths and weaknesses of the Structured Decision Making tool in Los Angeles County. The report concludes with recommendations for training, improved oversight and monitoring, and policy revisions.