Skip to main content



Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

Browse or Search All Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages (10,000+). The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - September 14, 2018 and is updated quarterly.

Instructions: Postings are listed for browsing with the newest messages first. Click on the linked ID number to see a message. You can search the author, subject, message ID, and message content fields by entering your criteria into this search box:

Message ID: 8098
Date: 2009-03-20

Author:Janet Clark-Duff

Subject:RE: collaboration be adversaries

Sheri, You may be interested in my PhD research on a statutory child protection service's voluntary 2 week home based family assessment and caseplanning program with families at high risk of child removal. My evaluation assessed child protection outcomes for 100 families who participated in this program vs 100 families who met all the referral criteria but did not participate in the assessment. The program uses an ecological approach - assessing the child in the context of the family and the family in the context of its community. It also relies on interagency collaboration- in the assessment process and in delivering the services recommended by the assessment. The assessment process engages the parents in the process of identifying the personal and family issues that were underlying the child protection issues in their families, and determining what sort of assistance would help them to address these issues in order to provide a safe environment for their children. The assessment team produces a comprehensive report that provides a "snapshot" of the family's child protection history, current family circumstances, parent alcohol and drug history and mental health issues, developmental history of each child, comments from local services (school, local doctor, child care provider, family support, AOD, Mental health etc) , strenghs and concerns and a set of recommendations. Parents receive a copy of this report, prior to a case conference that attempts to put the recommendations into action. Because the parents have been part of the process, although they may be confronted by some aspects of how their family looks on paper, they tend to be less likely to reject the recommendations, and have a greater likelihood of engaging with the recommended services (because they assisted in identifying what was needed) and staying engaged, leading to better child protection outcomes. In fact, in many cases where the recommendation was for supervision orders, or even short term placement while the parents attended detox or treatment, they did not contest the order, because they saw it as being in the best interests of the children and ultimately of the family. The child protection outcomes indicate that, even as statutory child protection workers, it was possible to engage many of these parents if they were approached with respect and absolute honesty throughout the process. Three years after the assessment, the 100 assessed families had significantly better outcomes in terms of family outcome, children's outcome and more families with less intrusive, or no, legal orders. As a group, they had fewer child protection reports and substantiated reports (compared with the three years before assessment and with the Comparison Group), and fewer instances of all the children in the family being in out of home care. If you would like more information about the research, it is available on: http://nova.newcastle.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/uon:2618?expert=creator%3a%22Clark-Duff%2c+Janet%22 The abstract is attached. Hope this is of interest. Janet Clark-Duff Dr Janet Clark-Duff B.Soc.Stud. M.A. PhD. Casework Consultant, Child Protection and Family Assessment Specialist. Mob 0401 918 055 jclarkduff@hotmail.com ________________________________ From: dfmcmahon1@msn.com To: child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu Subject: collaboration be adversaries Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 12:36:56 -0500 State policy in child welfare makes much of the notion that solutions are found by means of collaboration between family and the agency and invokes the concept, widely stated (at least) in, say, systems involving children with special health care needs, special education, and so on that "parents are experts." Yet parallel to casework are the legal proceedings--deprivation adjudications, custody petitions, and so on. I'm sure different prosecutors (which, when you come down to it, is what they are) take different approaches to their work, but what certainly can happen is that as long as parents exercise their right to have their case heard in court they are subject to a difficult tearing-down process, in which the very person who most represents the agency in casework is also the person whose information is used as the weaponry (possibly with considerable sharpening efforts by the prosecutor). Any comments, study, papers, or anything else on this topic and how it impacts the concept of collaboration? Government publications do tend to focus on the fact that whatever the court outcome or other clear legal requirements for parents happens to be, those must be taken seriously--but shy away from the issue of how destructive that process can be, and what agencies can do to lessen the destructive impact. I was involved in a case in which the agency made the wise decision, after the parent prevailed in a TPR proceeding, to change caseworkers so the reunification ordered by the court could proceed without resentment. Sheri McMahon ________________________________ Explore the new Windows Live. Looking for a place to manage all your online stuff?

Sheri, You may be interested in my PhD research on a statutory child protection service's voluntary 2 week home based family assessment and caseplanning program with families at high risk of child removal. My evaluation assessed child protection outcomes for 100 families who participated in this program vs 100 families who met all the referral criteria but did not participate in the assessment. The program uses an ecological approach - assessing the child in the context of the family and the family in the context of its community. It also relies on interagency collaboration- in the assessment process and in delivering the services recommended by the assessment. The assessment process engages the parents in the process of identifying the personal and family issues that were underlying the child protection issues in their families, and determining what sort of assistance would help them to address these issues in order to provide a safe environment for their children. The assessment team produces a comprehensive report that provides a "snapshot" of the family's child protection history, current family circumstances, parent alcohol and drug history and mental health issues, developmental history of each child, comments from local services (school, local doctor, child care provider, family support, AOD, Mental health etc) , strenghs and concerns and a set of recommendations. Parents receive a copy of this report, prior to a case conference that attempts to put the recommendations into action. Because the parents have been part of the process, although they may be confronted by some aspects of how their family looks on paper, they tend to be less likely to reject the recommendations, and have a greater likelihood of engaging with the recommended services (because they assisted in identifying what was needed) and staying engaged, leading to better child protection outcomes. In fact, in many cases where the recommendation was for supervision orders, or even short term placement while the parents attended detox or treatment, they did not contest the order, because they saw it as being in the best interests of the children and ultimately of the family. The child protection outcomes indicate that, even as statutory child protection workers, it was possible to engage many of these parents if they were approached with respect and absolute honesty throughout the process. Three years after the assessment, the 100 assessed families had significantly better outcomes in terms of family outcome, children's outcome and more families with less intrusive, or no, legal orders. As a group, they had fewer child protection reports and substantiated reports (compared with the three years before assessment and with the Comparison Group), and fewer instances of all the children in the family being in out of home care. If you would like more information about the research, it is available on: http://nova.newcastle.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/uon:2618?expert=creator%3a%22Clark-Duff%2c+Janet%22 The abstract is attached. Hope this is of interest. Janet Clark-Duff Dr Janet Clark-Duff B.Soc.Stud. M.A. PhD. Casework Consultant, Child Protection and Family Assessment Specialist. Mob 0401 918 055 jclarkduffhotmail.com ________________________________ From: dfmcmahon1msn.com To: child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu Subject: collaboration be adversaries Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 12:36:56 -0500 State policy in child welfare makes much of the notion that solutions are found by means of collaboration between family and the agency and invokes the concept, widely stated (at least) in, say, systems involving children with special health care needs, special education, and so on that "parents are experts." Yet parallel to casework are the legal proceedings--deprivation adjudications, custody petitions, and so on. I'm sure different prosecutors (which, when you come down to it, is what they are) take different approaches to their work, but what certainly can happen is that as long as parents exercise their right to have their case heard in court they are subject to a difficult tearing-down process, in which the very person who most represents the agency in casework is also the person whose information is used as the weaponry (possibly with considerable sharpening efforts by the prosecutor). Any comments, study, papers, or anything else on this topic and how it impacts the concept of collaboration? Government publications do tend to focus on the fact that whatever the court outcome or other clear legal requirements for parents happens to be, those must be taken seriously--but shy away from the issue of how destructive that process can be, and what agencies can do to lessen the destructive impact. I was involved in a case in which the agency made the wise decision, after the parent prevailed in a TPR proceeding, to change caseworkers so the reunification ordered by the court could proceed without resentment. Sheri McMahon ________________________________ Explore the new Windows Live. Looking for a place to manage all your online stuff?