Child Indicators Research

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 1611–1628 | Cite as

Assessment and Decision-Making in Child Protective Services: Risk Situations Kept-at-Home Versus Out-of-Home Care

  • Victor Grimaldi
  • Javier Pérez-PadillaEmail author
  • Miguel Ángel Garrido
  • Bárbara Lorence


Family risk assessment is complex and constitutes one of the great challenges facing Child Protective Services (CPS). This paper attempts to provide CPS practitioners with scientifically rigorous and technically sensitive instruments to help them substantiate cases, and thereby support the decision-making process that determines the future of children in their families. A total of 641 at high risk families with children kept-at-home (n = 422) and out-of-home children (n = 219), were evaluated by CPS practitioners with the Child Well-Being Scales (CWBS; Magura and Moses 1986) in Spain. A logistic binomial regression analysis was performed to show that the CWBS are useful for identifying situations of out-of-home care compared to risk kept-at-home. The original scales explained 56% of the variability of both groups of families, and the percentage of correct classification was 88.12%. This demonstrated that the predictive capacity of this instrument in adverse situations is very high. In view of the results, different aspects of the assessment, decision-making and intervention processes with family CPS users are discussed.


Child well-being scales Child protective services Decision-making process Risk-assessment Maltreatment-substantiation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Grimaldi
    • 1
  • Javier Pérez-Padilla
    • 2
    Email author
  • Miguel Ángel Garrido
    • 3
  • Bárbara Lorence
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Educational PsychologyUniversity of SevilleSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JaenJaenSpain
  3. 3.Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological TreatmentUniversity of SevilleSevillaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Social, Developmental and Educational PsychologyUniversity of HuelvaHuelvaSpain

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