Department of Human Services Releases 2020 Annual Child Protective Services Report
The PA Department of Human Services (DHS) announced the implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and the release of their annual child abuse report. The Family …
The PA Department of Human Services (DHS) announced the implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and the release of their annual child abuse report.
The Family First Prevention Services Act give states the option of using federal funds to administer their child welfare systems differently – and for the first time to utilize federal funding that supports certain evidence-based mental health prevention and treatment, substance use prevention and treatment, and in-home parenting skill-based programs that are delivered to eligible children, youth, and families to help prevent the placement of a child into out-of-home care. In the event placement outside the home occurs, the law directs federal funding toward family-like settings or other specialized settings that are best suited to a child’s individual needs.
In strengthening the child welfare system through a greater focus on prevention and use of evidence-based programs and services, Pennsylvania aims to reduce instances of child abuse and neglect. This week, DHS released the 2020 annual Child Protective Services Report, which includes statewide and county-level data relevant to the child welfare system in the previous year.
The total number of Child Protective Services (CPS) reports received dropped about 22 percent between 2019 and 2020. CPS reports are reports of incidents that meet the definition of child abuse contained in the Child Protective Services Law. While the total number of CPS reports fell significantly, the total number of substantiated reports fell slightly — from 4,865 in 2019 to 4,593 in 2020. These are the CPS reports that – after investigation – indicated that child abuse had in fact occurred.