Child protective services (CPS) staff must decide whether abuse or neglect has occurred, what services may help alleviate the concerns that brought the family to the attention of CPS, whether to recommend the case move to ongoing services, and whether children should be removed from their homes for their safety. An overview of assessments, tools, and frameworks are provided to assist CPS staff with decision-making. Resources include State and local examples.
Decision-Making in Child Protective Services: Influences at Multiple Levels of the Social Ecology
Font & Maguire-Jack (2015)
Examines the extent to which individual, agency, and community factors contribute to the risk of removal of children to out-of-home care. The study analyzes child protective service agency characteristics, caseworker characteristics, county characteristics, and child and family characteristics as they relate to the incidence of child maltreatment.
Decision-Making in Child Welfare for Improved Safety Outcomes
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Reviews current research on decision science and safety decision-making practices in child welfare. This brief provides an overview of child welfare safety assessment tools and decision-making theories and frameworks to improve child welfare safety outcomes.
Development of an Instrument to Understand the Child Protective Services Decision-making Process, with a Focus on Placement Decisions (special Issue: Decision-making and Judgments in Child Maltreatment Prevention and Response)
Dettlaff & Christopher Graham & Holzman & Baumann & Fluke & (2015)
Child Abuse and Neglect, 49
Family Centered Strengths and Risks Assessment Interview and Documentation Guide (PDF -390 KB)
Arizona Department of Child Safety (2016)
Lists questions that should be asked of a caregiver and a child when there has been an allegation of child maltreatment.
Rapid Safety Feedback and Secondary Case Review Instrument: Child Protective Investigations [Florida] (PDF - 1,577 KB)
Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Welfare (2016)
Presents case review items, core concepts, instructions and considerations, and rating criterion for critical child safety teams to use during open investigations of children under four years of age. The manual also presents the Raid Safety Feedback and Secondary Case Review Instrument.