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NCJ Number: 222652 Find in a Library
Title: Are Increased Worker Caseloads in State Child Protective Service Agencies a Potential Explanation for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse?: A Multilevel Analysis
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:March 2008  Pages:367-375
Author(s): Joanna Almeida; Amy P. Cohen; S.V. Subramanian; Beth E. Molnar
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: 2 T03 MC 00008-06
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study assessed information to identify a potential source of decline in the number of substantiated child sexual abuse (CSA) cases.
Abstract: Results indicated that the positive association between size of worker caseload and rate of CSA was not because workers were unable to investigate allegations of abuse due to time constraints, but rather the existence of a true decline in incidents of substantiated sexual abuse cases during the latter part of the 1990s. Overall, a decrease in the average caseload size was found. Moreover, there had been overall increases in total number of investigations and number of Child Protective Services agency caseworkers while there was a decrease in the number of substantiated investigations of CSA between 1997 and 2002. The increase in number of total investigations and caseworkers could help explain the exception to the overall decline pattern in child maltreatment which is neglect. It is possible that the increase in total number of investigations of child maltreatment were focused on cases of alleged neglect. Furthermore, results suggest that if funding for Child Protective Services agencies was reduced during the 1990s, it may not have directly affected the hiring or retention of caseworkers, or the average size of their caseloads. The trends indicated that child protective services workers were adequately responding to investigating reports of abuse. Activities such as CSA prevention programs and increased incarceration of offenders might likely be the real reasons for the decline. The fact that some States had slight increases in CSA, while others had declines suggests that implementation and success of CSA policies and programs may have differed substantially between States. Data were collected from the National Child Abuse and Neglect data system which consists of State-specific data of investigative reports of child abuse and neglect. Figures, table, references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Program evaluation
Index Term(s): Efficiency; Intervention; Personnel evaluation; Testing and measurement; Victim program evaluation
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