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What The Public Would Like To Know:



In some communities, people were quite frank
about not wanting to know anything about Child Protection Services, because
they would never personally need them. Those who wanted to know more indicated
the following areas of interest:


·      
Guidelines
for investigating an allegation of abuse or neglect, including the method for
determining false vs. true allegations


·      
What the
public should do if they suspect abuse or neglect


·      
The
number of children and families served


·      
Ratios
of caseworkers to families, and assurances that caseworkers are receiving
training


·      
The
qualifications for being a caseworker, including training, education, and
experience


·      
The
services offered to parents, including the services available to parents who
are not abusing their children


·      
Steps
being taken to prevent abuse and neglect


·      
The
capacity of the foster care system


·      
The
availability of adoptive homes


·      
Results
agencies are achieving with the families they serve


·      
Information
about the types of involvement by other child-and-family-serving systems


Most participants had no idea that the court
is involved in child protection cases and in removing children from their
homes. Further, few participants knew who is responsible for serving children
who get into trouble with the law. Additionally, some guessed that the police
were involved with the agency in every case and some thought the police should
not be involved because they lack training to deal with abuse and neglect.


Federal outcome measures were shared with the
participants. They generally felt that they were appropriate but questioned if
they measure the quality of services children and families are receiving. When
asked if, as taxpayers, people are getting their money’s worth in terms of the
job being done in the counties by the agencies, most had no idea, but felt
agencies should be held accountable. In some parts of all states, people
suggested that they doubted that taxpayers are getting their money’s worth,
because with a government agency, you never get your money’s worth.





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