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Structured Decision Making

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Structured Decision Making

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Structured Decision Making

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  1. Structured Decision Making Child Welfare and the Law Spring 2006

  2. Goal of Structured Decision Making“Better Protection of Children” • Benefits • Improve assessments of CPS family situations to better ascertain the protection needs of children • Provides simple and objective tools for workers • Reliability and consistency • Research based • Allows for prioritization • Provide data for improvement of services

  3. System Goals • Reduce rate of subsequent abuse/neglect reports • Reduce the severity of subsequent abuse/neglect reports • Reduce the rate of foster care placement • Reduce the length of stay in foster care

  4. Components to Structured Decision Making • Response Priority • Safety Assessment • Risk Assessment • Family Needs and Strengths Assessment • Case Planning and Management • Case Reassessment • Workforce Based Resource Allocation • Role of Management Information System

  5. Response Priority • All maltreatment reports assigned for investigation • At time is received • Tells you how quickly to respond • Levels 1,2 or 3

  6. Safety Assessment (now) • All maltreatment reports assigned for investigation that involve a family caregiver • Process applied at first face to face meeting (prior to allowing child to remain in household) • Removal and return of child to family • ID factors that threaten immediate harm to child • ID need for safety plan

  7. Risk Assessment (future) • All maltreatment reports assigned for investigation that involve a family caregiver • Prior to assessment disposition (its used to decide disposition) • Determine risk level of future maltreatment • Close or Open case for ongoing service • Guides contact standards

  8. Family Assessment of Needs and Strengths • All cases open for ongoing service • Within 30 days of case assigned to ongoing workers • Determine areas of family needs and strength that can be utilized in case planning

  9. Alternative Response • Assisting families to keep kids safe • Meet specific criteria • Option Statement/Agreement • Voluntary

  10. Risk/Needs Reassessment • Risk (when children are in home) • Needs (all ongoing cases) • First review within 90 days of first treatment plan. Then quarterly afterward or anytime significant change occurs • Measure progress, adjust service level, case closure

  11. Reunification Assessment • All CPS cases with at least one child in placement and goal of returning home • First review within 90 days of first treatment plan, then quarterly. • Prior to court hearings and whenever return home considered. • Help decide eligibility to return home, or if new permanency plan needed

  12. Assessing Diverse Families Child Welfare and the Law Spring 2006

  13. Suspicion and Culture • Culture and Poverty • Under and Over reporting

  14. False Positives • Sleeping Arrangements • Flexible boundaries (household compositions) • Small size of children • Appearance and hygiene • Clothing • Responses to authorities • Lack of cooperation • Unfamiliar disciplinary methods • Unfamiliar medical interventions • Unfamiliar practices • Care of Newborns • Linguistic Misunderstanding

  15. False Negatives and the use of Culture as a Justification • Failure to recognize a given practice as maltreatment because of cultural differences. • Culture as a mask or smokescreen

  16. Culture and Abuse • Some families may have to abandon certain practices that were tolerated in their countries of origin • Should be taken into consideration when assessing the family’s overall stability and most appropriate intervention.