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

Database of Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages. The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - March 6, 2018 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 8278
Date: 2009-09-28

Author:dfmcmahon1msn.com

Subject:Re: indicated reports vs unfounded reports

What analyses have been done regarding unfounded reports? The poster

identifies one possibility--that harm has occurred but the child denies it

(and no other evidence is available). Another possibility is that a report

of harm was false, or simply wrong (I know a woman whose daughter had

subcutaneous bruising due to medication-related lupus. Fortunately the

diagnosis had already been made, because social workers who had received a

report from school personnel were prepared to take the child immediately.

Another case made the papers in my community several years ago when skin

pigmentation on a Hispanic infant was mistaken by an ER doctor for

bruising). Or it may turn out the reporter was aware of issues that do not,

in fact, constitute maltreatment under reasonable interpretations. There are

many other situations that can lead to reports that are properly concluded

unfounded. Any classification of these?

Sheri McMahon





--------------------------------------------------

From: "Poha Kane"

Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 10:51 PM

To: "Child Maltreatment Researchers"



Subject: Re: indicated reports vs unfounded reports



> On 9/22/09, DeanTong@aol.com wrote:

>> So are you saying that five or eight or eleven unfounded abuse reports

>> against an accused individual or family may or does equal a moderate or

>> higher

>> risk to the alleged child victims for actual abuse or for perhaps

>> emotional/psychological abuse of the kids due to false allegations?

>

> Mr. Tong, the poster did not say "false allegations."

>

> A child can be injured, as was posted by another person here, and deny

> the accused did the harm, yet the harm was done.

>

> That is a child at risk even if charges can't be brought against an

> alleged perpetrator.

>

> There are many such cases I think. Please stick to the facts, and

> don't change the wording of the person you are questioning. It simply

> leads to conflict and loss of objectively and clarity.

>

> Some will think the person actually said, false allegations, when they did

> not.

>

> Unfounded does not mean false in all or even the majority of such

> cases necessarily.

>

> False allegations are a subcategory, another category, of unfounded.

> But there are many kinds. I hope I am clear enough on this.

>

> Thank you in advance for your consideration of my position on this

> question.

>

> Kane

>

>> Dean Tong, MSc., Forensic Trial Consultant

>> 604 Brentwood Place

>> Brandon, FL 33511

>>

>> 813.657.4930, Ph/Fax

>> 813.417.5362, Cell

>>

>> DeanTong@aol.com

>> TongDean56@gmail.com (E-Mail Attached Files, Only)

>> _http://www.abuse-excuse.com/_ (http://www.abuse-excuse.com/)

>> _http://www.DeanTong.com_ (http://www.deantong.com/)

>>

>> Disclaimer: Dean Tong is not an attorney. He is not licensed to give

>> legal

>> advice and nothing herein should be construed to be legal advice. If you

>> need legal assistance please consult with an attorney in your area by

>> checking here _http://www.abanet.org/lawyerlocator/searchlawyer.html_

>> (http://www.abanet.org/lawyerlocator/searchlawyer.html) .

>>

>>

>> In a message dated 9/22/2009 11:00:05 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

>> crystalle.williams@dhhs.nc.gov writes:

>>

>> The North Carolina Structured Family Risk Assessment of Abuse/Neglect

>> also

>> counts the number of reports, not substantiations or findings of

>> "Services

>> Not Recommended," that have ever been made in regards to the children in

>> the family, to determine the likelihood of risk. Additionally, there is

>> another item on the tool that asks how many of those reported cases were

>> substantiated or found to be "in need of services," or those when

>> out-of-home

>> placement was necessary.

>> So, both- number reports made and actual findings- are considered in the

>> overall level of risk to the children.

>> To respond to your question about vulnerability, I think that in some

>> cases, children are just as vulnerable when there is a history of

>> unfounded

>> reports. Social workers, of course, don't know this at the time; they go

>> on

>> the information gathered during the CPS Assessment. For example, when we

>> assess reports involving domestic violence or substance abuse, it is

>> common

>> for

>> a report to be unsubstantiated or found to not need services due to the

>> secrecy, denial, and fear involved for all family members, but that

>> doesn't

>> mean that the children are not at risk, and may be hurt later. If the

>> actual safety factors are not revealed during the assessment, then it is

>> possible for us to miss it, therefore unknowingly leaving a vulnerable

>> child at

>> risk.

>> Crystalle Williams, MSW

>> NC Division of Social Services

>> Staff Development Team

>> Child Welfare Section

>> 704-399-8160

>> crystalle.williams@dhhs.nc.gov

>>

>>

>>

>

>







What analyses have been done regarding unfounded reports? The poster

identifies one possibility--that harm has occurred but the child denies it

(and no other evidence is available). Another possibility is that a report

of harm was false, or simply wrong (I know a woman whose daughter had

subcutaneous bruising due to medication-related lupus. Fortunately the

diagnosis had already been made, because social workers who had received a

report from school personnel were prepared to take the child immediately.

Another case made the papers in my community several years ago when skin

pigmentation on a Hispanic infant was mistaken by an ER doctor for

bruising). Or it may turn out the reporter was aware of issues that do not,

in fact, constitute maltreatment under reasonable interpretations. There are

many other situations that can lead to reports that are properly concluded

unfounded. Any classification of these?

Sheri McMahon





--------------------------------------------------

From: "Poha Kane"

Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 10:51 PM

To: "Child Maltreatment Researchers"



Subject: Re: indicated reports vs unfounded reports



> On 9/22/09, DeanTongaol.com wrote:

>> So are you saying that five or eight or eleven unfounded abuse reports

>> against an accused individual or family may or does equal a moderate or

>> higher

>> risk to the alleged child victims for actual abuse or for perhaps

>> emotional/psychological abuse of the kids due to false allegations?

>

> Mr. Tong, the poster did not say "false allegations."

>

> A child can be injured, as was posted by another person here, and deny

> the accused did the harm, yet the harm was done.

>

> That is a child at risk even if charges can't be brought against an

> alleged perpetrator.

>

> There are many such cases I think. Please stick to the facts, and

> don't change the wording of the person you are questioning. It simply

> leads to conflict and loss of objectively and clarity.

>

> Some will think the person actually said, false allegations, when they did

> not.

>

> Unfounded does not mean false in all or even the majority of such

> cases necessarily.

>

> False allegations are a subcategory, another category, of unfounded.

> But there are many kinds. I hope I am clear enough on this.

>

> Thank you in advance for your consideration of my position on this

> question.

>

> Kane

>

>> Dean Tong, MSc., Forensic Trial Consultant

>> 604 Brentwood Place

>> Brandon, FL 33511

>>

>> 813.657.4930, Ph/Fax

>> 813.417.5362, Cell

>>

>> DeanTongaol.com

>> TongDean56gmail.com (E-Mail Attached Files, Only)

>> _http://www.abuse-excuse.com/_ (http://www.abuse-excuse.com/)

>> _http://www.DeanTong.com_ (http://www.deantong.com/)

>>

>> Disclaimer: Dean Tong is not an attorney. He is not licensed to give

>> legal

>> advice and nothing herein should be construed to be legal advice. If you

>> need legal assistance please consult with an attorney in your area by

>> checking here _http://www.abanet.org/lawyerlocator/searchlawyer.html_

>> (http://www.abanet.org/lawyerlocator/searchlawyer.html) .

>>

>>

>> In a message dated 9/22/2009 11:00:05 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

>> crystalle.williamsdhhs.nc.gov writes:

>>

>> The North Carolina Structured Family Risk Assessment of Abuse/Neglect

>> also

>> counts the number of reports, not substantiations or findings of

>> "Services

>> Not Recommended," that have ever been made in regards to the children in

>> the family, to determine the likelihood of risk. Additionally, there is

>> another item on the tool that asks how many of those reported cases were

>> substantiated or found to be "in need of services," or those when

>> out-of-home

>> placement was necessary.

>> So, both- number reports made and actual findings- are considered in the

>> overall level of risk to the children.

>> To respond to your question about vulnerability, I think that in some

>> cases, children are just as vulnerable when there is a history of

>> unfounded

>> reports. Social workers, of course, don't know this at the time; they go

>> on

>> the information gathered during the CPS Assessment. For example, when we

>> assess reports involving domestic violence or substance abuse, it is

>> common

>> for

>> a report to be unsubstantiated or found to not need services due to the

>> secrecy, denial, and fear involved for all family members, but that

>> doesn't

>> mean that the children are not at risk, and may be hurt later. If the

>> actual safety factors are not revealed during the assessment, then it is

>> possible for us to miss it, therefore unknowingly leaving a vulnerable

>> child at

>> risk.

>> Crystalle Williams, MSW

>> NC Division of Social Services

>> Staff Development Team

>> Child Welfare Section

>> 704-399-8160

>> crystalle.williamsdhhs.nc.gov

>>

>>

>>

>

>