Focusing Prevention Programs on High Risk Families

Period of Performance: 05/15/2006 - 10/30/2007


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Developmental Systems, Inc.
Columbus, OH 43203
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The ability to accurately identify families with high probabilities for future maltreatment is critical to reducing the incidence of child abuse and neglect in this country. The success of actuarial assessment in child protective services has led to widespread interest in expanding its use into the abuse/neglect prevention arena. The 2,000,000 families that receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) each year provide a great opportunity to identify families whose children may be at risk as child maltreatment occurs at higher rates in families living in poverty. The specific aims of this initiative are to develop and validate risk and need assessment protocols for use with the TANF population, to embed these tools in a state-of-the- art, web-based reporting and quality assurance database, and to develop a comprehensive training program for agencies interested in the model. Phase I objectives are to: 1) develop and validate an actuarial risk assessment system for the TANF population; 2) develop a standardized needs assessment to guide service planning for the TANF population; 3) outline a training curriculum and other training materials needed to implement the system; and 4) design a web-based computer system to support the system. In Phase I, the entire system will be piloted in five to seven California counties. In Phase II, two sites outside of California will be added to the pilot to test the transferability of the model to agencies outside of California. During the pilot phase, the impact of the system will be measured using a randomized experimental design with a 12 month follow-up period.