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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: 9135
Date: 2012-03-12

Author:McLeod, Sandra

Subject:RE: CPS Investigator Caseloads

Hello, Child Welfare Information Gateway has an issue brief on its website, Caseload & Workload Management (2010), that includes definitions of both “caseload” and “workload.” As with many definitions in child welfare, these definitions vary across jurisdictions making it difficult to collect and standardize caseload and workload information nationally. The definitions in the Caseload & Workload Management brief at: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/case_work_management/ were adapted from various versions of the CWLA Standards, and they are consistent with definitions used by Information Gateway and other staff of key national organizations in workshop presentations on caseload/workload management. The CWLA standard is based on the number of cases open during the month, as opposed to new cases per month. I hope this information is helpful. Sandi McLeod Child Welfare Technical Specialist Child Welfare Information Gateway A Service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS Email: smcleod@childwelfare.gov Website: www.childwelfare.gov Free Subscriptions: http://www.childwelfare.gov/admin/subscribe/ From: bounce-42214204-6834017@list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-42214204-6834017@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Edward Opton Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 6:16 PM To: child-maltreatment-research-L@cornell.edu Subject: CPS Investigator Caseloads The Children’s Bureau report “Child Maltreatment 2010” includes interesting data on CPS investigator caseloads. According to the report: “Using data from 41 States, in FFY 2010, investigation workers conducted an average of 66.7 responses a year . . . .” (P. 9.) If one assumes a work-year of 49 work weeks at 40 hours per week, a caseload of 66.7 cases per year would allow an average of 29.4 hours per case. Is that consonant with the many, many complaints that investigative caseworkers are crushed beneath inhuman, impossible workloads? To an outsider, it might seem that 29+ hours would be enough for an average case—some cases would require more time, some less. But is an average of 29+ hours not enough for the average case? If not, why not? Or is there reason to question the accuracy of the 66.7 case per year statistic? A related question: what is a “caseload?” Some caseworker supervisors don’t seem to know whether “caseload” means: (a) the number of cases a caseworker has “open” at a particular point in time, such as the last day of a month; (b) the number of cases a caseworker has “open” on at least one day during a period of time, such as a month, i.e., the number of “old” cases still open at the beginning of a month plus the number of new cases assigned during that month; (c) the number of new cases a caseworker is assigned during a period of time, such as a month; (d) some other definition. Is there a standard definition of the term? Edward Opton, Ph.D. National Center for Youth Law 405 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612 Eopton[at]youthlaw.org

Hello, Child Welfare Information Gateway has an issue brief on its website, Caseload & Workload Management (2010), that includes definitions of both “caseload” and “workload.” As with many definitions in child welfare, these definitions vary across jurisdictions making it difficult to collect and standardize caseload and workload information nationally. The definitions in the Caseload & Workload Management brief at: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/case_work_management/ were adapted from various versions of the CWLA Standards, and they are consistent with definitions used by Information Gateway and other staff of key national organizations in workshop presentations on caseload/workload management. The CWLA standard is based on the number of cases open during the month, as opposed to new cases per month. I hope this information is helpful. Sandi McLeod Child Welfare Technical Specialist Child Welfare Information Gateway A Service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS Email: smcleodchildwelfare.gov Website: www.childwelfare.gov Free Subscriptions: http://www.childwelfare.gov/admin/subscribe/ From: bounce-42214204-6834017list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-42214204-6834017list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Edward Opton Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 6:16 PM To: child-maltreatment-research-Lcornell.edu Subject: CPS Investigator Caseloads The Children’s Bureau report “Child Maltreatment 2010” includes interesting data on CPS investigator caseloads. According to the report: “Using data from 41 States, in FFY 2010, investigation workers conducted an average of 66.7 responses a year . . . .” (P. 9.) If one assumes a work-year of 49 work weeks at 40 hours per week, a caseload of 66.7 cases per year would allow an average of 29.4 hours per case. Is that consonant with the many, many complaints that investigative caseworkers are crushed beneath inhuman, impossible workloads? To an outsider, it might seem that 29+ hours would be enough for an average case—some cases would require more time, some less. But is an average of 29+ hours not enough for the average case? If not, why not? Or is there reason to question the accuracy of the 66.7 case per year statistic? A related question: what is a “caseload?” Some caseworker supervisors don’t seem to know whether “caseload” means: (a) the number of cases a caseworker has “open” at a particular point in time, such as the last day of a month; (b) the number of cases a caseworker has “open” on at least one day during a period of time, such as a month, i.e., the number of “old” cases still open at the beginning of a month plus the number of new cases assigned during that month; (c) the number of new cases a caseworker is assigned during a period of time, such as a month; (d) some other definition. Is there a standard definition of the term? Edward Opton, Ph.D. National Center for Youth Law 405 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612 Eopton[at]youthlaw.org