Pilot Child Welfare System Redesign
Strategic Action Plan
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11.6. Perpetrators of Child Abuse
The following chart has been created from data in the annual Oregon Child Welfare Data Books for the years 2009 through 2019.
This is an impressive – yet somewhat deceiving – chart. First, the deceiving part: consistently throughout the years 2009 through 2019, about 94% of the perpetrators of child abuse are family members. Although it is well-understood that the vast majority of perpetrators of child abuse are family members or someone the child knows, the consistent “about 94%” rate is totally based on decisions made at Screening. All child abuse reports that involve a third-party perpetrator are “screened-out” (never sent to CPS for assessment) at Screening. It is hoped that these reports are at least transferred to law enforcement, so the child receives medical, psychological, and behavioral assistance to recover from their trauma, and the perpetrator is apprehended and prevented from abusing additional children.
When actual data is received from all categories of child abuse and neglect, additional patterns may be uncovered.
Data is from Family Predators Only
Analyzing the chart as predominantly applying to family perpetrators, it may be surprising to some that mothers lead the list of child abusers, with a high rate of 44.1% of the perpetrators – narrowly beating out the fathers, who come in at a close second with a high rate of 38.1%. Note that some child abuse is attributed to both the mother and father. “Live-in companion” and “Other relative” account for the remainder of the family child abuse perpetrators.
The Mother perpetrator group and the Father perpetrator group are significantly clustered to form a pattern of abuse.
Action Step 11.6.1: The Mother perpetrator group and the Father perpetrator group are significantly clustered for child abuse, forming a definitive pattern of abuse. With this pattern identified, assessment of an abused child should indicate the need for In-Home Services to include parental education, training programs, and respite services to parents, as the primary perpetrators of the abuse.
To submit questions or comments, please email Jo@Jo-Calk.com. I welcome all input, ideas, and suggestions. Thank you for caring for children.