ACYF/HHS Releases Results of Study on Child and Related Fatality Review Teams

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children Youth and Families (ACYF) recently released the results of a study which examined the recommendations and outcomes of child fatality review teams and related fatality review entities—citizen review panels, domestic violence fatality review and fetal and infant mortality review Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc (WRMA), in partnership with the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths (NCRPCD) conducted the study in 2012. The purpose of the study was to identify promising strategies for fatality review for preventing deaths of children. The project resulted in four products that can be used to assist fatality review teams in identifying ways that they could improve their review processes and enhance the impact of their work:


Latest Report Shows Decrease in National Victimization Continues for Fifth Consecutive Year

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families released Child Maltreatment 2012, the 23rd report in this annual series of child abuse and neglect statistics. The trend of a decrease in the national number and rate of child victims continued during 2013. Data from the states continue to indicate that the greatest proportion of children suffered from neglect.

The 50 states, District of Columbia, and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico voluntarily submit data to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. has been the subcontractor for NCANDS since the project’s inception in 1988. Each year WRMA staff compile, validate, and analyze the data submitted by the states and U.S. territories.

Click here to view the most recent report, Child Maltreatment 2012, and previous report editions.

WRMA to Develop a National Adult Protective Services Data System

WRMA is leading an effort in collaboration with UC Irvine Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect and the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) to plan, design, develop, and pilot a system that will collect Adult Protective Services (APS) data to provide consistent, accurate national data on abuse among vulnerable adults. The lack of basic information about elder maltreatment has resulted in the inability to develop, implement, and measure the effectiveness of programs to prevent or effectively intervene in elder abuse. This absence of knowledge has also impeded the ability of officials to develop policies to effectively combat this issue. It has also resulted in marked differences in the way APS programs and services are structured and delivered.

Some state APS laws only apply to vulnerable citizens who experience abuse in the community, while others go further to protect people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Some states use electronic records while others use paper records exclusively. Efforts to modernize and streamline these program processes have encountered many obstacles. WRMA’s goal is to identify data that key stakeholders need to support their programs and to reach agreement on what data will be collected. The data and business processes agreed to as standards will then be used to develop one or more pilot systems.

WRMA to Support Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection

WRMA will provide expert management and consulting services to support the work of the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection (CCP). The independent commission, appointed by the Board of Supervisors, is charged with rigorously examining previously delayed or failed efforts to implement child protection reforms at the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and other county agencies. The CCP will also review the systemic, structural and organizational barriers to effective performance. WRMA will assist the CCP in undertaking a number of tasks to identify what reforms are needed to design and implement a system that maximizes the safety of children that come to the attention of DCFS. This will include conducting interviews and focus groups with DCFS staff, clients served by DCFS, and representatives from related agencies including law enforcement, school districts, and county health and mental health agencies. It will also include an extensive review and analysis of prior recommendations that have been made to determine which recommendations have been successfully implemented. The CCP is expected to make recommendations for reform in six months.

WRMA Presents at CJA/SLO Meeting

At the recent Children’s Justice Act and State Liaison Officers Annual Meeting, Ying-Ying Yuan and Liz Oppenheim presented Applying Lesson Learned from Child Fatality Reviews to Preventing Fatalities and Near Fatalities with David Kelly from the Children’s Bureau (CB). The group discussed national child fatalities statistics, the structure and functions of different types of fatality reviews, examples of inter-organizational cooperation, frequently made recommendations, and the impact of fatality review recommendations. Strategies for applying lessons learned from conducting fatality reviews to identifying and addressing near fatalities were also presented. The findings regarding fatality reviews were based on a study conducted by WRMA, in partnership with the National Center on the Review and Prevention of Child Fatalities, conducted for the CB in 2012. The PowerPoint presentation can be found here.

Community Oversight Board for the Philadelphia DHS Issues Report

Report on Progress, 2013, the annual report of the Community Oversight Board (COB) for the Department of Human Services (DHS), was sent to Mayor Michael Nutter on April 15, 2013. The COB found that DHS has made significant progress in implementing the 37 recommendations of the Child Welfare Review Panel (CWRP), having fully implemented 20 of the CWRP’s recommendations so far. Since 2007, WRMA has assisted the COB in identifying and documenting ongoing reforms to DHS child welfare programs and practice, and monitoring and assessing the impact of these reforms on the safety and well-being of children receiving services. The report is available here.

Record Attendance for Child Maltreatment 2011 Webinar

On February 7, the Children’s Bureau of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families hosted a webinar at which the NCANDS Technical Team presented highlights and expanded data analyses from the Child Maltreatment 2011 report. The webinar, titled “Key Findings from Child Maltreatment 2011” had approximately 850 attendees, an increase of about 500 from the prior year. Catherine Nolan, the director for the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, moderated the webinar and Bryan Samuels, the commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, was the keynote speaker.

The Child Maltreatment report series presents national data about child abuse and neglect known to CPS agencies in the United States.Child Maltreatment 2011 was released during December by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau. Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. has been the subcontractor for the NCANDS since the project’s inception in 1988. Kurt Heisler of the Office of Data, Analysis, Research, and Evaluation is the Federal Project Officer.

The webinar slides, handouts, and an audio recording of the webinar can be found here.

The most recent report, Child Maltreatment 2011 can be found here.

Previous versions of the report can be found here.