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Title:The process of the impact of differential response on child maltreatment recurrence
Author(s):Kang, Jiyoung
Director of Research:Ryan, Joseph P.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ryan, Joseph P.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Fuller, Tamara; Eamon, Mary K.; Park, Min; Jarrett, Robin L.
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):differential response
child protective services
child welfare
child maltreatment
Abstract:Differential response is an alternative child protective services (CPS) system that about 25 states in the U.S. have implemented since the 1990s. Evaluation reports have found that DR does not compromise child safety in comparison to traditional CPS approach. However, previous studies have not revealed the process of how differential response (DR) makes an impact on child maltreatment re-report and recurrence. It is also critical to identify the key components of DR and what family changes through service receipt are critical to improve child safety. In this study, I proposed a DR process model that presents pathways from DR to service components, caregivers’ service experiences (positive experiences/attitudes and perceived match), and positive family changes to child safety outcomes. The study utilized a random experimental design of the statewide Illinois DR evaluation study and its subgroup of 373 caregivers to test the DR process model with structural equation modeling (SEM). The study utilized both secondary data on child welfare outcomes from the Illinois child welfare system as well as primary data on family changes collected by phone surveys. It appeared that the differential response did not have an impact on child safety. The findings indicated that increased positive service experiences and perceived match predicted a decrease in child maltreatment re-report and recurrence; caseworkers’ emotional support is critical to improve families’ positive service experiences and perceived matches between services and needs. Families’ subjective service experiences and perceived matches appeared to be critical to reduce re-reports and recurrences rather than the DR. Emotional support was important for both positive service experiences and perceived matches that in return reduced re-reports and recurrences regardless of the pathway assignment. Practices and policies that are more family engaging are recommended based on the findings of this study.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Jiyoung Kang
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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