State of Arizona Office of the Auditor General



Family Builders Program (November 2001, Report No. 01-30)


Family Builders is a community-based program administered by the Department of Economic Security. Based on the premise that families with different child abuse risk levels require different responses, potential- and low-risk child abuse and neglect reports are referred to Family Builders for treatment and immediate services rather than an investigation by Child Protective Services (CPS).  Evaluators found that although the services provided by Family Builders and CPS differ, the two groups of families had comparable proportions of subsequent CPS reports. However, families who completed Family Builders had fewer subsequent reports than families who did not complete the program. In addition, positive differences in the risk for child abuse and neglect existed among program participants. The report also describes the Departmentís limited progress in addressing previously identified monitoring and oversight problems. Although the Department has made an effort to resolve problems, it still lacks reliable cost data, needs to improve its other program data, and could provide greater guidance to local advisory boards.

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