Improved decision making about suspected child maltreatment: Results of structuring the decision process
SourceChildren and Youth Services Review, 35, 2, (2013), pp. 347-352
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
Children and Youth Services Review
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
ORBA is a method that aims to improve decision making about suspected child maltreatment in Advice and Reporting Centres of Child Abuse and Neglect (ARCCAN). It structures the process of judging and deciding and makes it explicit by distinguishing separate steps, and by identifying the necessary information to consider and the judgments and decisions to be made in each step. In this study it was investigated whether decision making in ARCANNs has become more systematic and transparent, since the implementation of ORBA. The contents of 100 case records from 2010 were analyzed, after ORBA had been implemented in all agencies, to see to what extent these records contained relevant information, and to what extent process steps and rationales for decisions could be identified. This was compared with the contents of 60 records of three agencies from 2005, before ORBA was implemented. Analyses showed that in 2010 records more often contained relevant information and process steps that ORBA prescribes than in 2005. It was salient however that rationales for judgments and decisions were still often absent in 2010. While after ORBA's introduction the process has clearly become more systematic-and more transparent, compared to 2005, more improvements are still called for, specifically in explicitly motivating decisions. Explanations and implications of our results are discussed.
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