Differential Response Conference

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Sixth Annual Conference on Differential Response in Child Welfare — Giving Voice to Vision: Effectively Engaging Youth and Families in Child Welfare

Nov. 8-10, 2011, Chicago, Illinois.

Our goal for this conference was to provide opportunities for open dialogue and shared learning among individuals involved in or working along the child welfare continuum, with a keen interest in improving the outcomes of children and families who are involved in, or have the potential to become involved in, the child welfare system.

Conference Materials:


Fifth Annual Conference on Differential Response in Child Welfare

Nov. 8-10, 2010, Anaheim, Calif.

Conference Materials:

Booklets provided by Pat Stanislaski:


Background on Differential Response in Child Welfare

Since the mid-1990s, an increasing number of states have been implementing differential response in their child protective services systems. Differential response, also referred to as “dual track,” “multiple track” or “alternative response,” is an approach that allows child protective services to respond differently to accepted reports of child abuse and neglect. While there is great variation among the states’ implementation of differential response, the assessment pathway is generally applied to low- and moderate-risk cases with no immediate safety concerns. The families in these cases receive a family assessment and are offered timely, strengths-based services without a formal determination or substantiation of child abuse or neglect. The investigative response is typically reserved for accepted high-risk reports that may involve egregious harm to children. While the ability to offer choices in how agencies respond to reports of child maltreatment intuitively makes sense, implementing such a child protective services system is a complex and intricate proposition. Learn more about Differential Response.

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