skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 152384 Find in a Library
Title: Dispute Processing in Child Maltreatment Cases
Journal: Negotiation Journal  Volume:10  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1994)  Pages:373-390
Author(s): P G Tjaden
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Ford Foundation
New York, NY 10017
Grant Number: G3-89-029
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A 3-year study of dispute processing in child maltreatment cases at a child protective service agency in Denver, Colorado, explored how decisionmaking in the child protective service system was accomplished through interaction between case workers and parents accused of abusing their children.
Abstract: Using information extracted from recorded and transcribed conferences between case workers and parents at various stages in the child protective service case management process, the study looked at how decisionmaking occurred through negotiations between case workers and parents rather than through unilateral action by case workers. The researcher also explored the impact of situational and structural factors on negotiation and decisionmaking. She observed 91 conferences involving case workers and families; 39 conferences involved newly reported cases that required decisions on report validity, child protection, and the need for Department of Social Services intervention. In addition, interviews were conducted with 27 case workers and 17 family members immediately following the conference to gather firsthand impressions of what transpired during the conference. Study findings revealed that most decisions were made unilaterally by case workers. In 9 of 14 decisionmaking sequences that involved negotiation with alignment, the family aligned with the case worker's position. Of the five decisionmaking sequences resulting in alignment with the family's position, males appeared to have an advantage over females and nonoffending family members seemed to have an advantage over perpetrators in negotiations with case workers. Changes that the child protective service system can make to involve parents more without impinging on case worker authority are discussed. 18 references, 2 notes, and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile case management
Index Term(s): Abused children; Abusing parents; Child abuse; Child protection services; Child victims; Colorado; Decisionmaking; Dispute processing; Dispute resolution; Juvenile victims; Negotiation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.