Alternative Response (AR) in Wisconsin

Background

Funded through the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, Alternative Response (AR) or Differential Response is being implemented by 22 Wisconsin county child welfare agencies with the aim of serving families with low-to-moderate safety concerns without launching an official investigation of maltreatment. AR is a system reform that is intended to promote family engagement by allowing child welfare workers to focus on supporting families’ safety and well-being goals without also needing to make an official disposition decision regarding maltreatment.

The ICFW team conducted a mixed-methods evaluation:

  • A process evaluation describing current county implementation efforts including a statewide CPS staff survey
  • Statewide longitudinal analysis of child safety outcomes
  • A survey of over 1,000 CPS-involved families

Taken together these three evaluation components have the potential to make novel contributions to knowledge about AR implementation and its impact on families.

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AR Publications

Janczewski, C. E., Nitkowski, J. (in preparation). Parental mental health and substance use: Predicting early service utilization among families involved in child welfare.

Janczewski, C. E., & Mersky, J. P. (accepted). A brief measure of workplace environment for health and human service professionals. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance.

Choi, C., Mersky, J. P., Janczewski, C. E., Plummer Lee, C., Davies, W. H., & Lang, A. C. (2020). Validity of an expanded assessment of adverse childhood experiences: A replication study. Children and Youth Services Review, 117, 105216.

ICFW Team

Colleen Janczewski
Joshua Mersky
Peter Power

Funding

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Partners

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute

 

All Community & Systems Change