Department of Health & Human Services  
Home | Links | Contact

Child Safety After Relinquishment from Court Jurisdiction

Definition: Percentage of children who were victims of child abuse or neglect within a time frame after the case was closed.

Purpose: Child Safety, To meet the ASFA goal that children are, first and foremost protected from abuse and neglect. The desired outcome is that children are safe from abuse and neglect after court jurisdiction ends.

This measure is designed to determine the child safety after courts have closed the cases. Courts share responsibility for child safety with child welfare agencies because courts set conditions for child’s return home and authorize the return home. Any subsequent maltreatment could be see as a partial result of the court’s decision to return the child home. Similarly, if the abused or neglected child is not removed from home and later maltreated, that too is a partial result of the courts decision. Court set the conditions for supervision, periodically monitors the supervision, and decides when supervision can end, and each of these decisions can affect child safety. Courts also have the responsibility to see that the child advocate and caseworker visit the child and report to the court the child’s situation in the home.

Method: Computing this measure is rather straightforward. It is imply recording the number of substantiated incidents of maltreatment that occurred within a year after the court case was closed and calculating that number as a percentage of all incidents of maltreatment. Both the raw numbers and percentages should be reported.

Analysis and Interpretation:

It may be instructive to report county results as well as state-wide results.

  • Record the percentage of maltreatment within 12 months of case closure.
  • Set a recurrence rate goal. Note that benchmarks have not yet been established for any of the measures.
  • Monitor and take action.

If reason for case closure is available, analysis of recurrence of maltreatment by type of closure may be able to determine patterns that may affect child safety.

Required Data Elements: Case number or child identifier,
Date court jurisdiction ends (petition disposed).
Date of subsequent substantiated report of abuse or ne
glect.


Alternative Measures: