Pilot CWS-R-SAP – v. 1 Current CWS, 7.1. NIS-4 Child Maltreatment Charts – Part I

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7.1. Major Findings from the NIS-4 Child Maltreatment Charts – Part I

 

NIS-4 Maltreatment by Age Chart
NIS-4 Maltreatment by Age Chart
NIS-4 Maltreatment by Race Chart
NIS-4 Maltreatment by Race Chart
NIS-4-Maltreatment-by-Family-Conditions-Chart
NIS-4-Maltreatment-by-Family-Conditions-Chart
NIS-4 Maltreatment by Severity of Harm Chart
NIS-4 Maltreatment by Severity of Harm Chart

 

NOTE: In the above charts and the following analysis, the total number of children for each category is the sum of the total investigated by CPS (red bars) AND the total not investigated by CPS (blue bars).

 

Child Maltreatment: CPS Investigated/Not, By Age:

Age: The top chart illustrates the Child Maltreatment Cases from NIS-4 divided into age groups, and then further divided into the percentage of cases for which CPS investigated (red bars) and the percentage of cases for which CPS did not investigate (blue bars).

The percentage of CPS investigations were highest for ages 0-2 and 3-5, indicating a focus for CPS on the younger aged children. Although this is admirable, it is at the cost of investigations for children aged 6 through 17, for which the CPS investigation percentage was consistently less than 50% (averaging 37%-41%) of all cases of child maltreatment for these age groups identified in the NIS-4 Study.

 

Child Maltreatment: CPS Investigated/Not, By Race

Race: The second chart illustrates the Child Maltreatment Cases from NIS-4 divided into 4 race categories, and then further divided into the percentage of cases for which CPS investigated (red bars) and the percentage of cases for which CPS did not investigate (blue bars).

The percentage of CPS investigations were slightly higher than 50% (50.43%) for Hispanic children. However, the CPS investigation percentage was consistently less than 50% (48%-49%) for the other races for cases of child maltreatment.

Note that the difference between 48% and 50.43% is not a significant indication of preference of one race over another. The main point is that CPS investigates about half the cases of child abuse and neglect for most races.

However, only a little over a third (36.79%) of the Other – Non-Hispanic child maltreatment cases were investigated. This could be interpreted as an avoidance of investigating Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American and Alaska Native children, among others.

 

Child Maltreatment: CPS Investigated/Not, By Family Conditions

Family Conditions: The third chart illustrates the Child Maltreatment Cases from NIS-4 divided into 6 family conditions, and then further divided into the percentage of cases for which CPS investigated (red bars) and the percentage of cases for which CPS did not investigate (blue bars).

Unmarried Parents was the only category in which CPS investigated more than half (58.97%) of the child maltreatment cases.

All other categories have CPS investigations under 50%; with the investigations of Married Parents at a low of 38.1% of all child maltreatment cases involving Married Parents.

 

Child Maltreatment: CPS Investigated/Not, By Severity of Harm

Severity of Harm: The fourth chart illustrates the Child Maltreatment Cases from NIS-4 divided into 6 severity of harm levels, and then further divided into the percentage of cases for which CPS investigated (red bars) and the percentage of cases for which CPS did not investigate (blue bars).

Fatal cases had an impressive 80.69% CPS investigation percentage – except that CPS is mandated to investigate ALL cases of child fatalities.

CPS investigations focused on Assumed Harm (68.11%) and Endangered (60.07%), while significantly missing (investigating less than 1/3) the Serious and Moderate cases of child maltreatment, and only 43.44% of all maltreatment cases.

 

From the NIS-4 Study Report:

“Throughout its history, the NIS has consistently found that child protective services agencies (CPS) investigate maltreatment of only a minority of the children the NIS identifies. The NIS–4 again verified that result, finding that CPS investigated the maltreatment of only 32% of children who experienced Harm Standard maltreatment and of 43% of those whose maltreatment fit the Endangerment Standard.”[1] [bolding added for emphasis]

 

Focus on the Child:

The charts clearly indicate the consistent inability of CPS agencies throughout the country to investigate even half of the legitimate cases of child maltreatment and neglect identified by an impartial, government-sanctioned comprehensive study.

The possible causes for this failure to investigate is addressed in a subsequent section of this chapter.

At this point, consider the mandatory reporters sincerely trying to help an abused or neglected child, and particularly the abused or neglected child hopeful that the adult’s attempt to help them is successful.

Hearing that the report has not been investigated or, even worse, not hearing anything from CPS, crushes the hope of the mandatory reporter and significantly demolishes any hope the abused or neglected child had of being rescued.

The child has received further evidence that their life has no worth or value.

 

Reference

[1] Sedlak, A.J. and Basena, M. (2014). Online Access to the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect. Rockville, MD: Westat. Available: http://www.nis4.org

 

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To submit questions or comments, please email Jo@Jo-Calk.com. I welcome all input, ideas, and suggestions. Thank you for caring for children.

Blessings,

Jo Calk