What Will Happen to This Child If I Report? Outcomes of Reporting Child Maltreatment

Theodore P. Cross, Betsy Goulet, Jesse J. Helton, Emily Lux, Tamara Fuller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Through a review of empirical and practice literature, this chapter describes the different outcomes that result from reporting child maltreatment—screen outs, substantiation, ongoing child protective service, child placement, and referral to differential response—and examines their frequency and predictors. Most reports receive a modest response (screen out or no ongoing protective services). Limitations in information often hamper decision making. Outcomes vary by case characteristics such as child age and by available resources, but there is also enormous unexplained variation across states and communities. More research is needed, including enhanced program evaluations with greater focus on these outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChild Maltreatment
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Issues in Research and Policy
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameChild Maltreatment: Contemporary Issues in Research and Policy
ISSN (Print)2211-9701
ISSN (Electronic)2211-971X


  • Child maltreatment
  • Child protection
  • Decision making
  • Protective services
  • Reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'What Will Happen to This Child If I Report? Outcomes of Reporting Child Maltreatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this