A new report from UT Austin says Texas families who receive child maltreatment prevention services do not have a subsequent child protective services case. The report, issued by the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing, concludes that receiving services from child maltreatment prevention programs prevents child abuse cases, and that these programs are effective in the long run.
Researchers analyzed data from two statewide programs — Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) and Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR) — that provide services such as family counseling, parenting classes and home visitation. Findings show that only 3 percent of the families who received these services had a subsequent substantiated case of child maltreatment.
“Traditionally, the Department of Child and Family Services only tracked families that were receiving prevention services because they had an open case,” says Monica Faulkner, social work professor and director of the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing. “Thus, the broader and long-term effectiveness of prevention services was largely unknown.”
Researchers gathered data from a total of 137,068 caregivers who received services across Texas. Of these caregivers, 97 percent did not have a subsequent substantiated case of child maltreatment. Of the 3 percent of caregivers who did, the majority (75 percent) had one case that happened a year or more after the reception of services.