Factors associated with the decision to investigate child protective services referrals: a systematic review

Damman, Jeri, Johnson-Motoya, Michelle, Wells, Susan J and Harrington, Kelly (2020) Factors associated with the decision to investigate child protective services referrals: a systematic review. Child and Family Social Work. pp. 1-20. ISSN 1356-7500

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Background: Limited resources for child protection create challenging decision situations for child protective services (CPS) workers at the point of intake. A body of research has examined the factors associated with worker decisions and processes using a variety of methodological approaches to gain knowledge on decision-making. However, few attempts have been made to systematically review this literature.

Objective: As part of a larger project on decision-making at intake, this systematic review addressed the question of the factors associated with worker decisions to investigate alleged maltreatment referrals.

Methods: Quantitative studies that examined factors associated with screening decisions in CPS practice settings were included in the review. Database and other search methods were used to identify research published in English over a 35-year period (1980-2015).

Findings: Of 1,147 identified sources, 18 studies were selected for full data extraction. The studies were conducted in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden and varied in methodological quality. Most studies examined case factors with few studies examining other domains.

Conclusions: To inform CPS policy and practice, additional research is needed to examine the relationships between decision-making factors and case outcomes. Greater attention needs to be given to the organizational and external factors that influence decision-making.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2020 08:29
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2020 15:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/90388

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