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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 161725 Find in a Library
Title: Testing the Community Standard on Neglect: Are We There Yet? Findings From a First-Stage Survey of Professional Social Services Workers (From Children in the Shadows: The Face of Children in Neglecting Families, P 31-59, 1995, Esther Wattenberg, ed. -- See NCJ-161723)
Author(s): E Wattenberg; L Boisen
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Sale Source: University of Minnesota
Ctr for Urban and Regional Affairs
330 HHH Ctr
301 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The level of child neglect a community seemed willing to tolerate was investigated, based on surveys of two groups of social workers to ascertain their criteria for assessing risk to children in neglecting situations.
Abstract: The first group, referred to as casefinders, consisted of a representative sample of social workers drawn from the National Association of Social Workers, school social workers, family- based social workers, community agency staff members, and child protection workers. Of 775 surveys distributed, 659 (85 percent) were returned. The second group, referred to as gatekeepers, included child protection workers who screened referrals. Of 123 surveys distributed, 78 (63.4 percent) were returned. Findings revealed a marked disparity in judging criteria used by casefinders and gatekeepers. Responding to scarce resources, gatekeepers tended to assess neglect situations as being of less risk than did casefinders. If neglect cases did not pass the "imminent harm" test, they were not entered into the child protection system. Practicing social workers had a broad concept of child endangerment. They felt children were in hazardous situations when they were left alone, unsupervised, in charge of very young children, living in a deteriorated housing environment, personally uncared for, deprived of basic human needs, and exposed to households enmeshed in drug and alcohol use. The authors conclude that casefinders and gatekeepers must find common ground in addressing the needs of neglected children in order to restore confidence in the child welfare system. Appendixes contain additional information on risk assessment factors and the survey form. 55 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child protection services; Child victims; Child welfare; Children at risk; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Juvenile statistics; Social workers
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Proceedings of a conference at the University of Minnesota, 1994, Minneapolis
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