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NCJ Number: 50822 Find in a Library
Title: WHAT NEXT IN CHILD ABUSE POLICY? IMPROVING THE KNOWLEDGE BASE
Journal: CHILD WELFARE  Volume:57  Issue:7  Dated:(JULY/AUGUST 1978)  Pages:415-421
Author(s): W M THEISEN
Corporate Author: Welfare League of America (CWLA)
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
Welfare League of America (CWLA)
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: University of Iowa
Institute for Child Behavior and Development
Oakdale Campus
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS CONCERNING CHILD ABUSE ARE IDENTIFIED SO AS TO DESIGN MORE EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE METHODS.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH CHILD ABUSE IS A COMPLEX PROBLEM, THERE IS LITTLE SUBSTANTIVE KNOWLEDGE ON THE SUBJECT, DUE PARTLY TO THE FACT THAT RECOGNITION IS LIMITED TO REPORTED CASES. THE PREDOMINANT OFFICIAL DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE, 'NONACCIDENTAL PHYSICAL INJURY,' MAY BE DIFFICULT TO APPLY TO INDIVIDUAL SUSPECTED CASES. THE VARYING DEFINITIONS OF 'SUBSTANTIATED' AND 'UNSUBSTANTIATED' REPORTS CAUSES DIFFICULTY IN AGGREGATING DATA AMONG STATES OR COMPARING DATA. THE DATA COLLECTED ON REPORTED AND/OR 'SUBSTANTIATED' CHILD ABUSE INJURIES ARE QUESTIONED FOR VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY. THE STAFF OF THE CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, ALONG WITH THE STAFF OF STATES IN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE REGION VII, CONCLUDED AFTER A STUDY THAT THE STATISTICS PROVIDED BY EXISTING DATA-PROCESSING SYSTEMS IN CENTRAL REGISTRIES ARE NOT PARTICULARLY HELPFUL IN MAKING POLICY OR PRACTICE DECISIONS ABOUT SERVICE PROBLEMS OR SERVICE NEEDS. PROTECTIVE SERVICE PERSONNEL HAVE LIMITED ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SYSTEM. THE NATIONAL STUDY ON CHILD NEGLECT AND ABUSE REPORTING COLLECTS DATA FROM APPROXIMATELY 40 STATES. A TIME LAG OF 6 MONTHS OFTEN OCCURS BETWEEN THE DATE A REPORT IS MADE AND IS INVESTIGATED AND KEYPUNCHED FOR THE COMPUTER, IMPOSING LIMITS ON ANNUAL STATISTICAL REPORTING, ANALYSIS, AND PROJECTIONS. SUGGESTED TECHNIQUES FOR ALLEVIATING THE STATED PROBLEMS ARE DESCRIBED. PRECISE DATA ON INJURIES, LOCATION, EXTENT, RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER INJURIES, AND SOME ADDITIVE METHOD OF SUMMARIZING SEVERITY OF INJURY FOR A GIVEN CHILD ARE NECESSARY. THREE TYPES OF POTENTIALLY USEFUL COMPUTERIZED SYSTEMS ARE DESCRIBED: (1) A REGISTRY, PRIMARILY IDENTIFYING SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS BY NAME, ADDRESS, ETC.; (2) A DATA BASE OF GROUP DATA; AND (3) A 'SEGMENTED DATA BASE' COMBINING THE REGISTRY AND DATA BASE. A BETTER THEORY AS TO WHICH VARIABLES SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS IS IMPLIED BY THE SIMILARITIES OF DATA COLLECTED FROM THE NATIONAL STUDY AND REGION VII. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; Citizen crime reporting; Computer aided operations; Computer software; Crimes against children; Data collections; Iowa; Juvenile dependency and neglect
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