How Well is the Child Abuse Reporting System Working in Monroe County?

Outcomes of Reporting System in Monroe County
While 69% of our registered reports of suspected child abuse and neglect come from mandated reporters, 31% came from voluntary reporters including concerned citizens, neighbors, and relatives. This distribution of sources of reports further emphasizes that protection of children depends on a shared responsibility by mandated reporters, concerned citizens and relatives, and us (CPS). We can take action only if you call with information that can be registered as a report. We want to build and maintain good relationships with you and share information about how well our reporting system is working in Monroe County. Table 1 shows the source of reports of suspected child abuse and neglect from Hotline calls. Table 2 shows the outcomes of all calls received by the Hotline in Monroe County. As you can see, more than half of all calls received can’t be registered as a report or investigated by us because they don’t meet the five criteria as specified by state law. In addition, after our investigation, only 25% of those registered reports actually result in a finding of child abuse and neglect (are indicated). The staff resources that we utilize to investigate all the reports that turn out to be unfounded result in decreased staff time and resources that would otherwise be used to focus on helping the children who are experiencing abuse and neglect.

We hope you find this web site and our training courses helpful in improving your skills in recognizing and reporting cases in which there is a reasonable suspicion that child abuse or neglect has occurred. We are working hard to improve this system so that we can use our resouces to help the children and adolescents who need it most.

TABLE 1. Source of Reports of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect from Hotline calls – Monroe County 2016

Source of Calls % of total reports received (7,904)
Mandated Reporters 69%
  A. Health Care Providers 16%
  B. Law Enforcement 6%
  C. Education Providers 31%
  D. Child Care Providers 2%
  E. Health and Human Services Providers 14%
Voluntary Reporters – Concerned Citizens and Relatives 31%
Source: Monroe County Child Protective Services, Department of Health and Human Services—based on Year 2002 Reports. Total number of calls registered = 5967

 

TABLE 2. Outcomes of All Reports Received by Monroe County Child Protective Services – 2016

Reports Received 9,768
Reports where abuse or neglect was substantiated (indicated) of those registered  2,520  26% of 9,768
Reports where abuse or neglect was unsubstantiated (unfounded)  6,007  74% of 9,768
 Source: Monroe County Child Protective Services, Department of Human and Health Services

Table 3 shows another way to measure the accuracy of our reporting system (Hotline). That is, about 76% of the registered reports turn out to be False Positives – the case of suspected child abuse and neglect turns out to be unsubstantiated after our investigation. 24% of the reports can be considered True Positives in which the report of suspected child abuse and neglect turns out to be substantiated after our investigation. Through this website and on-going training of our mandated reporters, our goal is to increase the number of true positive reports and decrease the number of false positive reports and false negative reports.

 

TABLE 3. Accuracy (Sensitivity and Specificity) of the Monroe County Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting System (Hotline)–2016

  Reports not registered through Hotline Reports registered through Hotline
Abuse/
neglect NOT
occurring
True negatives
Report IS NOT registered and abuse/neglect IS NOT occurring
False positives
Report IS registered and abuse/neglect IS NOT occurring=76%
Abuse/
neglect
occurring
False negatives
Report IS NOT registered and abuse/neglect IS occurring

True positives
Report IS registered and abuse/neglect IS
occurring=24%

 

Our goal is to increase the number of true positive reports and reduce the number of false positive and false negative reports.

2014 NATIONALLY– KEY FACTS (Most Recent Data Available)
Types of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect – United States

Type % of total reports to Hotline Examples
Physical Abuse 17% Fatalities, severe fractures, severe lacerations, sub-dural hematomas, internal injuries, severe burns, severe malnutrition/failure to thrive
Sexual Abuse 8% Sexual contact, sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, prostitution, incest, using a child in a sexual performance
Neglect 75% Fractures, lacerations, bruises, welts, burns, excessive corporal punishment, allowing or encouraging child’s drug/alcohol use, lack of medical care, malnutrition/failure to thrive, educational neglect, emotional neglect, lack of food/clothing/shelter, lack of supervision, abandonment
TOTAL 2.2 million (100%)  
Total number of deaths 1,580 Children and adolescents
· 80% of deaths from child abuse/neglect happen to children under age 5, even though adolescents are abused
twice as often as children.
· In families in which child abuse/neglect has occurred – over 50% of the time, there is a parent who abuses
alcohol or drugs.
Source: Jellinek M, Patel BP, Froehle MC, eds. 2002 Bright Futures in Practice: Mental Health – Volume I. Practice Guide. Arlington, VA: National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health.
The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System estimates that in 2009, 702,000 children were victims of abuse or neglect.
Child Maltreatment 2019: Available online at www.childwelfare.gov