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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: 9823
Date: 2015-05-04

Author:Rich Gehrman

Subject:RE: Family Preservation focus and Child Protection focus

Paul, my apologies for the slow response. We are in the middle of the state legislative system here. I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the questionairre. Is it to sort practitioners into those who favor famiy preservation from those more oriented to protecting children? A lot has happened since 1999. Differential Response (known as Family Assessment in Minnesota) became the default program, with 75% of children going down that track including sexual abuse and other exteme cases. Only about 35% of Family Assessment cases ever got any services. The result was that many children have been left in intolerable situations for prolonged periods, too many of them killed. We just completed a Governor's Task Force on Child Protection which made a number of badly needed updates to policies and practices. The funding to pay for its recommendations is wending its way through the legislature. The primary topic of the Task Force was the balance between Family Assessment and child protection. The law here was changed to make child safety and well-being the paramount responsibility of child protection, changing the previous legislation which had made Family Assessment the 'preferred option'. If you are interested in the Task Force report I will send you a copy. In the context, my responses to your questions assume that child protection is a balanced framework that preserves or reunifies families whenever possible consistent with child safety and well-being. In Minnesota we talked about well-being in the context of ACES, as the ability for children to develop normally without persistent toxic stress. Rich Gehrman Rich Gehrman Executive Director Safe Passage for Children of Minnesota 2148 Eleanor Ave. Saint Paul, MN 55116 www.safepassagemn.org (651) 303-3209 gehrm001@umn.edu From: bounce-119105812-44670726@list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-119105812-44670726@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Paul Harnett Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 2:00 AM To: child-maltreatment-research-l@cornell.edu Subject: Family Preservation focus and Child Protection focus In 1999 Dr Len Dalgleish approached this group about child protection practitioners views on what constitutes a child protection focus and family preservation focus in child protection decision making. He asked for replies to the questions below. From the replies he developed a questionnaire. Unfortunately Len passed away a couple of years ago, and the questionnaire was never published. A few items of the questionnaire remain from a workshop he presented. I worked with Len and would like to recreate the questionnaire with updated items for research I am doing. I would very much appreciate it if you could answer the questions below and send your replies to me. warm regards, Paul. *********************************************** 1. Thinking of the phrases "Family Preservation focus and Child protection focus" in the context of child protection, what do these phrases mean to you? Family Preservation focus: Giving family preservation and reunification priority over the safety and well-being of children. Being willing to tolerate long periods of extreme abuse or neglect in efforts to keep children with their adult caregivers. Child protection focus: Primary focus on safety and well-being of children. Making family preservation and reunification a priority as long as this is consistent with the primary focus of the system. Providing the services and quality casework needed to make these goals possible. 2. If someone had a child protection focus, what sorts of statements would they make that would demonstrate that view? Base decisions on whether children are able to develop normally in current setting. Hold adult caregivers accountable to case plans that ensure child safety and well-being. Assess risk and safety using validated tools. Ensure that out of home placements meet the same criteria for child safety and well-being. Use Differential Response approaches wherever appropriate, e.g strengths-based interviewing techniques, safety plans, family group decision-making. 3. If someone had a family preservation focus, what sorts of statements would they make that would demonstrate that view? (The following are actual policies that were in place prior to the Task Force recommendations and are still part of the philosophy of most workers and supervisors in Minnesota.) It is important that adult caregivers do not feel that the child protection worker is in an adversarial relationship with them. Use interviewing techniques that make the adult caregivers as non-threatened as possible, e.g. always have the initial interview with the adults and children present together. If the adult caregivers do not want voluntary services, close the case. It is important not to have a finding of abuse or neglect because this is shaming to the adults and could affect their future job prospects. Do not pursue collateral contacts. Judge each report of maltreatment on its own merits and do not look at past patterns such as previous reports or findings. Child protection historically has been confrontational, punitive, shaming towards parents and by avoiding these problems families will cooperate with child protection and children will be getter off. -- Dr Paul Harnett, FAPS Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Room 410 School of Psychology (McElwain Building) University of Queensland St Lucia Brisbane 4072 Australia (The University of Queensland is located on the land of the Turrbal/Jagera people) ph: (07) 3365 6723 fax: (07) 3365 4466 www.pupprogram.net.au ________________________________ This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software. www.avast.com

Paul, my apologies for the slow response. We are in the middle of the state legislative system here. I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the questionairre. Is it to sort practitioners into those who favor famiy preservation from those more oriented to protecting children? A lot has happened since 1999. Differential Response (known as Family Assessment in Minnesota) became the default program, with 75% of children going down that track including sexual abuse and other exteme cases. Only about 35% of Family Assessment cases ever got any services. The result was that many children have been left in intolerable situations for prolonged periods, too many of them killed. We just completed a Governor's Task Force on Child Protection which made a number of badly needed updates to policies and practices. The funding to pay for its recommendations is wending its way through the legislature. The primary topic of the Task Force was the balance between Family Assessment and child protection. The law here was changed to make child safety and well-being the paramount responsibility of child protection, changing the previous legislation which had made Family Assessment the 'preferred option'. If you are interested in the Task Force report I will send you a copy. In the context, my responses to your questions assume that child protection is a balanced framework that preserves or reunifies families whenever possible consistent with child safety and well-being. In Minnesota we talked about well-being in the context of ACES, as the ability for children to develop normally without persistent toxic stress. Rich Gehrman Rich Gehrman Executive Director Safe Passage for Children of Minnesota 2148 Eleanor Ave. Saint Paul, MN 55116 www.safepassagemn.org (651) 303-3209 gehrm001umn.edu From: bounce-119105812-44670726list.cornell.edu [mailto:bounce-119105812-44670726list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Paul Harnett Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 2:00 AM To: child-maltreatment-research-lcornell.edu Subject: Family Preservation focus and Child Protection focus In 1999 Dr Len Dalgleish approached this group about child protection practitioners views on what constitutes a child protection focus and family preservation focus in child protection decision making. He asked for replies to the questions below. From the replies he developed a questionnaire. Unfortunately Len passed away a couple of years ago, and the questionnaire was never published. A few items of the questionnaire remain from a workshop he presented. I worked with Len and would like to recreate the questionnaire with updated items for research I am doing. I would very much appreciate it if you could answer the questions below and send your replies to me. warm regards, Paul. *********************************************** 1. Thinking of the phrases "Family Preservation focus and Child protection focus" in the context of child protection, what do these phrases mean to you? Family Preservation focus: Giving family preservation and reunification priority over the safety and well-being of children. Being willing to tolerate long periods of extreme abuse or neglect in efforts to keep children with their adult caregivers. Child protection focus: Primary focus on safety and well-being of children. Making family preservation and reunification a priority as long as this is consistent with the primary focus of the system. Providing the services and quality casework needed to make these goals possible. 2. If someone had a child protection focus, what sorts of statements would they make that would demonstrate that view? Base decisions on whether children are able to develop normally in current setting. Hold adult caregivers accountable to case plans that ensure child safety and well-being. Assess risk and safety using validated tools. Ensure that out of home placements meet the same criteria for child safety and well-being. Use Differential Response approaches wherever appropriate, e.g strengths-based interviewing techniques, safety plans, family group decision-making. 3. If someone had a family preservation focus, what sorts of statements would they make that would demonstrate that view? (The following are actual policies that were in place prior to the Task Force recommendations and are still part of the philosophy of most workers and supervisors in Minnesota.) It is important that adult caregivers do not feel that the child protection worker is in an adversarial relationship with them. Use interviewing techniques that make the adult caregivers as non-threatened as possible, e.g. always have the initial interview with the adults and children present together. If the adult caregivers do not want voluntary services, close the case. It is important not to have a finding of abuse or neglect because this is shaming to the adults and could affect their future job prospects. Do not pursue collateral contacts. Judge each report of maltreatment on its own merits and do not look at past patterns such as previous reports or findings. Child protection historically has been confrontational, punitive, shaming towards parents and by avoiding these problems families will cooperate with child protection and children will be getter off. -- Dr Paul Harnett, FAPS Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Room 410 School of Psychology (McElwain Building) University of Queensland St Lucia Brisbane 4072 Australia (The University of Queensland is located on the land of the Turrbal/Jagera people) ph: (07) 3365 6723 fax: (07) 3365 4466 www.pupprogram.net.au ________________________________ This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software. www.avast.com