Alternative Response


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Surveys Differential Response

This month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a brief about the efficacy of differential response (DR) and child safety in six states that have implemented this child protection strategy for over ten years.


Family Preservation Falters in the Heartland

On New Year’s Eve, the Minnesota Department of Human Services released a slate of recommendations, which call for dismantling much of the child protection philosophy that has dominated the state for the past 15 years.


Harvard’s Elizabeth Bartholet Takes on Differential Response

In her latest paper, Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet does her best to dismember the widely popular child welfare strategy known as Differential Response, or simply DR. Bartholet’s argument has some limitations, and includes statements that will surely rankle the child welfare establishment.


Minnesota’s Differential Response; from a Different Perspective

In his recent opinion editorial, “Putting Differential Response into Perspective”, David Thompson, who recently retired from Minnesota’s Department of Human Services, notes that the child homicide of four-year-old Eric Dean has raised questions about the efficacy of Family Assessment Response in Minnesota.


Are Child Protection Quotas Endangering Minnesota Children?

In 2000, Minnesota launched a pilot for its now statewide differential response (DR) program. DR is a popular child protection strategy with mixed results, in which help is offered to abusive or neglectful parents, but rarely forced upon them.


Differential Response Built on Flawed Assumptions

Those who advocate for the wider use of Differential Response (DR) in child welfare do so from a flawed set of assumptions. The most common are that children’s protective services (CPS) professionals are hostile to families; that children are routinely removed from their parents’ custody without good cause; and that all families can safely provide for their children.


    With Differential Response, History Repeats Itself and Children are Placed at Unnecessary Risk

    By Frank Vandervort Michigan, like other states, struggles to keep abused and neglected children safe while controlling the number of children in foster care, which is costly. Our law and policy attempt to balance the protection of maltreated children (the paramount consideration), respect for parents’ rights to raise their children, and the state’s interest in keeping children safe, all with too little money.


    Differential Response Dealt Heavy Blow

    The long delayed release of an evaluation of Illinois’ differential response program casts new doubts on whether one of the country’s most popular child welfare reforms is safe for children and a smart way to spend limited resources dedicated to families on the fringe.