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Investigations of Abuse and Neglect

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This measures the results of investigations from a referral for abuse and neglect completed by Child Protective Services (CPS).

How This Is Measured

This indicator reports the results of the decision made for a CPS investigation. A referral can be for multiple children, or one child only, as well as for multiple response of one reason only. Abuse and neglect may be substantiated for one allegation or child and unfounded for another.

The status of the investigation indicates the result of the investigation.

  • Inconclusive: an investigation finding that concludes that there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the report but there still exists some conflicting information that indicate the abuse or neglect may have occurred
  • Incomplete: an investigation finding for referrals in which there were barriers to being able to complete every aspect of the investigation. This could include obtaining confirmation during the investigation that the family was a resident of another state outside D.C., the parent refusing the social worker access to the home to complete a home assessment, or inability to locate the family.
  • Substantiated: an investigation finding that concludes the allegation of maltreatment or risk of maltreatment is supported or founded by state law or policy
  • Unfounded: an investigation finding that concludes there is not sufficient evidence under state law to conclude or suspect that the child was maltreated or is at-risk of being maltreated.
  • Child Fatality: Suspicious death of a child that may be due to abuse or neglect. Report of child death is either unexplained, or concern exists that abuse or neglect by caregiver contributed to or caused the child's death (i.e. suffocation of an infant in an unsafe sleeping arrangement; unsupervised child drowning; and/or death of a child due to head trauma or internal injuries that appear suspicious.) CFSA learns of child fatalities through various sources, including but not limited to the CFSA Hotline, CFSA employees, DC Health, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the news media. This data is reflective of the notifications through the CFSA hotline only.

Filters at the bottom of the dashboard allow you to filter the data by the following factors: 

  • Year: The display can show the current and past two fiscal years 

  • Month: The default view shows the data with each month in a quarter summed up. By applying the month filter, the data by month can be obtained. 

  • Setting Where Abuse Occurred: data can be viewed looking at institutional abuse, non-institutional abuse, or all 

  • Institutional abuse: allegations of neglect and/or abuse (including some allegations of sexual abuse) reported in the following locations within the District: foster homes; congregate care facilities; residential hospital facilities; emergency care facilities, including runaway shelters and youth shelters; boarding schools and traditional day schools (excepting DC Public Schools); licensed daycare facilities or homes, or the Youth Services Center (Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services juvenile detention center). 

  • Non-institutional abuse: allegations of neglect and/or abuse by the child’s caretaker that are reported to have occurred within the District. 

Note: Any investigations that closed in the reporting period and that had a referral start date prior to the reporting period are no longer included in this data set

Why This Matters

Knowing the percent of referrals that have a substantiated finding helps the Agency to better understand and forecast resource and service needs.