Child Protective Services Reports: A Pre-Pandemic Baseline
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives, and California’s most vulnerable children and families are no exception. Fewer reports of child abuse and neglect have been made to the Child Protective Services (CPS) Hotline, but it is unlikely that this is a true indication of a reduction in maltreatment. In fact, child abuse and neglect may be increased due to the effects of the pandemic (potentially related to unemployment, school closures, and changes in service delivery). It seems likely that patterns in the number and types of CPS reports will continue to be affected by the pandemic for quite some time.
To better understand current and potential changes in CPS reports we examined pre-pandemic baseline information on CPS reports in California and Los Angeles County (years 2017 -2019). This summary shows the distribution of reports by reporter type (i.e., the individual who reported suspected maltreatment to the Hotline). Data were also disaggregated by race/ethnicity in response to concerns about racial disparities at all levels of CPS involvement.