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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 - December 22, 2017 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 9355
Date: 2013-02-07

Author:Bruce Borkosky

Subject:Re: addressing youth in defining child abuse, who can be a perpetrator

I think it's important to realize that both the civil and criminal 'child abuse' systems are punitive in nature. They assign blame and impose penalties on those who violate societal norms. I make that distinction, because there is, as you are finding out, no easy way to determine who is blameworthy versus who merely 'has problems / needs'. It's all a mix of different shades of gray, and easy to get lost in. So, what to do about the situation? 1. create separate pathways / organizations - one to assign blame, the other to determine needs and provide services to meet those needs 2. understand that placing the 'perpetrator' and/or family into either (or both) pathways is an arbitrary decision. If the decision-maker feels, based on the facts of the case, that penalties are appropriate, then place the perp into that system. If and when the decision-maker feels that services can be helpful, then place the perp and/or family into that system. 3. a good psychological evaluation can (and should) include multiple causal factors, from community, to subculture, to neighborhood, to family, to individual, when assessing risk and protective factors. Too often, we only look at the individual (the 'blame' model), but child abuse is multi-factorial. 4. Further, assessments should be based on science, not personal opinion. Too often, the latter is used. BB On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Cathleen Palm > wrote: Hello. With the hope of securing insight from other states. Pennsylvania is about to embark on a comprehensive rewrite of its Child Protective Services Law. Central to that will be how we define child abuse and decide who can be a perpetrator and thus placed on our state registry. As we navigate the waters there have been important points raised about how to deal with youth with regard to: 1. Normative youth behavior – consensual of like (close in) age activities working to avoid unintended consequences so that such behavior is not captured as child abuse; and 2. The right balance/approach of youth under 18 who take an action/inflict an injury against a child that if done by an adult to a child would be “abuse.” Do states have statutes that either exclude within the definition and/or perpetrator language any/all youth under the age 18 or have some carve out/modification for juveniles? Thank you for any input. Cathleen Palm www.protectpachildren.org 610-488-5059 From: bounce-72688745-13606222@list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-72688745-13606222@list.cornell.edu ] On Behalf Of Francis Drake Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:30 AM To: Child Maltreatment Researchers Subject: RE: Indicators for Primary Child Maltreatment Prevention? I would use all reports, not substantiated reports if you can. That is going to go a long way to avoiding county-level differences. Do you have statewide wellbeing data from your health department? In Missouri, MICA (Google “Missouri MICA”) has many online fields relating to child wellbeing (prenatal care, injuries to children, etc…). I’d also try to do any geospatial analysis by zipcode, not county. This will help you compare like to like (e.g. in XXX County, zips of < 5% families in poverty had report rates of Y) –Brett Drake From: bounce-72657239-10777274@list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-72657239-10777274@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Bruce Borkosky Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 11:13 AM To: Child Maltreatment Researchers Cc: Child-Maltreatment-Research-L@cornell.edu Subject: Re: Indicators for Primary Child Maltreatment Prevention? Because 'maltreatment' is such a fuzzy (from a scientific point of view) measure, you would be better off by more basic parental behaviors - behaviors that can more easily be quantified. You would want to measure both positive/preferred and negative/unwanted behaviors. These behaviors might not currently be a part of your data collection / stream, so you might have to invent some. One example might be calls made to a helpme-hotline - increased calls might be construed as parents trying to improve their parenting behavior. You might also install a video camera in some homes (possibly less intrusive than a live person taking videos), and then counting the number of 'good' and 'bad' behaviors. As you probably know, there are a vast array of causal factors - one that might be easily measured is the number of inhome and out-of-home contacts with various official or unofficial organizations. BB On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 7:29 PM, Bates - CDPHE, Scott > wrote: Hi all- I sit on our Early Childhood Leadership Coalition here in Colorado and we are looking for better, more positive, indicators of the primary prevention of child maltreatment. We currently use county rates of substantiated child maltreatment as an indicator and, as you may imagine, those rates are subject to too many local factors (e.g., case worker training, worker caseloads, etc.) to be comparable from county to county (our child welfare system is county-administered, state-supervised). I've looked at the data collected and am considering an indicator of new involvements as a function of child population (but I'm no epidemiologist or statistician, either!). Does anyone consider better indicators to measure child safety from maltreatment? Ideas regarding positively-worded indicators are especially welcome. Thanks! -Scott -- Scott Bates, MSW Program Manager Child Maltreatment Prevention Unit (Colorado Children's Trust Fund and Family Resource Centers) Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment scott.bates@state.co.us w (303) 692-2942 f (303) 691-7901 -- Bruce G. Borkosky, Psy.D. PA 1800 Lakeview Drive Sebring, FL 33870 863-386-0276 304-8-Dr-Bruce (google voice) 800-919-9008 Fax 813-200-8450 Email DrBorkosky@Gmail.com www.psyris.com/bruceborkosky www.bruceborkosky.com This communication is confidential and privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please communicate the error immediately, and delete all copies. -- Bruce G. Borkosky, Psy.D. PA 1800 Lakeview Drive Sebring, FL 33870 863-386-0276 304-8-Dr-Bruce (google voice) 800-919-9008 Fax 813-200-8450 Email DrBorkosky@Gmail.com www.psyris.com/bruceborkosky www.bruceborkosky.com This communication is confidential and privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please communicate the error immediately, and delete all copies.

I think it's important to realize that both the civil and criminal 'child abuse' systems are punitive in nature. They assign blame and impose penalties on those who violate societal norms. I make that distinction, because there is, as you are finding out, no easy way to determine who is blameworthy versus who merely 'has problems / needs'. It's all a mix of different shades of gray, and easy to get lost in. So, what to do about the situation? 1. create separate pathways / organizations - one to assign blame, the other to determine needs and provide services to meet those needs 2. understand that placing the 'perpetrator' and/or family into either (or both) pathways is an arbitrary decision. If the decision-maker feels, based on the facts of the case, that penalties are appropriate, then place the perp into that system. If and when the decision-maker feels that services can be helpful, then place the perp and/or family into that system. 3. a good psychological evaluation can (and should) include multiple causal factors, from community, to subculture, to neighborhood, to family, to individual, when assessing risk and protective factors. Too often, we only look at the individual (the 'blame' model), but child abuse is multi-factorial. 4. Further, assessments should be based on science, not personal opinion. Too often, the latter is used. BB On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Cathleen Palm > wrote: Hello. With the hope of securing insight from other states. Pennsylvania is about to embark on a comprehensive rewrite of its Child Protective Services Law. Central to that will be how we define child abuse and decide who can be a perpetrator and thus placed on our state registry. As we navigate the waters there have been important points raised about how to deal with youth with regard to: 1. Normative youth behavior – consensual of like (close in) age activities working to avoid unintended consequences so that such behavior is not captured as child abuse; and 2. The right balance/approach of youth under 18 who take an action/inflict an injury against a child that if done by an adult to a child would be “abuse.” Do states have statutes that either exclude within the definition and/or perpetrator language any/all youth under the age 18 or have some carve out/modification for juveniles? Thank you for any input. Cathleen Palm www.protectpachildren.org 610-488-5059 From: bounce-72688745-13606222list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-72688745-13606222list.cornell.edu ] On Behalf Of Francis Drake Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:30 AM To: Child Maltreatment Researchers Subject: RE: Indicators for Primary Child Maltreatment Prevention? I would use all reports, not substantiated reports if you can. That is going to go a long way to avoiding county-level differences. Do you have statewide wellbeing data from your health department? In Missouri, MICA (Google “Missouri MICA”) has many online fields relating to child wellbeing (prenatal care, injuries to children, etc…). I’d also try to do any geospatial analysis by zipcode, not county. This will help you compare like to like (e.g. in XXX County, zips of < 5% families in poverty had report rates of Y) –Brett Drake From: bounce-72657239-10777274list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-72657239-10777274list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Bruce Borkosky Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 11:13 AM To: Child Maltreatment Researchers Cc: Child-Maltreatment-Research-Lcornell.edu Subject: Re: Indicators for Primary Child Maltreatment Prevention? Because 'maltreatment' is such a fuzzy (from a scientific point of view) measure, you would be better off by more basic parental behaviors - behaviors that can more easily be quantified. You would want to measure both positive/preferred and negative/unwanted behaviors. These behaviors might not currently be a part of your data collection / stream, so you might have to invent some. One example might be calls made to a helpme-hotline - increased calls might be construed as parents trying to improve their parenting behavior. You might also install a video camera in some homes (possibly less intrusive than a live person taking videos), and then counting the number of 'good' and 'bad' behaviors. As you probably know, there are a vast array of causal factors - one that might be easily measured is the number of inhome and out-of-home contacts with various official or unofficial organizations. BB On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 7:29 PM, Bates - CDPHE, Scott > wrote: Hi all- I sit on our Early Childhood Leadership Coalition here in Colorado and we are looking for better, more positive, indicators of the primary prevention of child maltreatment. We currently use county rates of substantiated child maltreatment as an indicator and, as you may imagine, those rates are subject to too many local factors (e.g., case worker training, worker caseloads, etc.) to be comparable from county to county (our child welfare system is county-administered, state-supervised). I've looked at the data collected and am considering an indicator of new involvements as a function of child population (but I'm no epidemiologist or statistician, either!). Does anyone consider better indicators to measure child safety from maltreatment? Ideas regarding positively-worded indicators are especially welcome. Thanks! -Scott -- Scott Bates, MSW Program Manager Child Maltreatment Prevention Unit (Colorado Children's Trust Fund and Family Resource Centers) Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment scott.batesstate.co.us w (303) 692-2942 f (303) 691-7901 -- Bruce G. Borkosky, Psy.D. PA 1800 Lakeview Drive Sebring, FL 33870 863-386-0276 304-8-Dr-Bruce (google voice) 800-919-9008 Fax 813-200-8450 Email DrBorkoskyGmail.com www.psyris.com/bruceborkosky www.bruceborkosky.com This communication is confidential and privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please communicate the error immediately, and delete all copies. -- Bruce G. Borkosky, Psy.D. PA 1800 Lakeview Drive Sebring, FL 33870 863-386-0276 304-8-Dr-Bruce (google voice) 800-919-9008 Fax 813-200-8450 Email DrBorkoskyGmail.com www.psyris.com/bruceborkosky www.bruceborkosky.com This communication is confidential and privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please communicate the error immediately, and delete all copies.