Differential Response


Reevaluating Child Welfare Priorities

Children enter foster care because they are in danger. A child’s safety should be the first priority in any child welfare system, shouldn’t it? As a lawyer, I’ve been examining the role the judicial system plays in making sure children remain safe once they have been removed from danger.


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.


Putting Differential Response into Perspective

The efficacy of Family Assessment Response (differential response) in Minnesota is being questioned after the maltreatment death of a young child who had been the subject of an Investigative Response and several Family Assessment Responses.


Differential Response’s Misdiagnosis

Differential response’s (DR) proponents have established a goal of eliminating foster care placement of children. This would be a worthy goal if they directly confronted the cause of foster care placement— parental abuse and neglect of children.


    The Case for Differential Response from a Carver County Minn. Child Protection Manager

    As a program manager in a Minnesota County with 14 years of experience with Differential Response, I am writing to point out some of the benefits we have found in our implementation of the program, and to suggest that the problems identified in The Imprint can be avoided.


    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.