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.