Iowa Child Welfare Assessments by Disposition, County and Year

mydata.iowa.gov | Last Updated 7 Jun 2019

This dataset provides the number and disposition of child welfare assessments conducted by the Department of Human Services beginning January 1, 2004. On January 1, 2014, the department began using the Differential Response System, which allows for a family assessment in additional to a traditional child abuse investigation for allegations of abuse and neglect. Data prior to 2014 only report child abuse investigations. The family assessment is not used in physical or sexual abuse cases, or other types of serious abuse cases seen. It is used only in denial of critical care cases where the child is not in imminent danger. If at any time during a family assessment it appears the child isn’t safe, the case is reassigned to the child abuse assessment pathway. The family assessment pathway results in pairing families with services and supports. The traditional child abuse assessments result in a finding. Findings include: “founded” meaning abuse occurred and results in perpetrator placement on the child abuse registry; “confirmed” meaning abuse occurred, but it was minor, isolated and not likely to reoccur, does not go on the central abuse registry; and “unconfirmed” meaning abuse did not occur.

Tags: child abuse, abuse, child neglect, neglect, maltreatment, child welfare, differential response system

This dataset has the following 10 columns:

Column NameAPI Column NameData TypeDescriptionSample Values
YearyearnumberThe calendar year when child welfare assessment was conducted.
FIPS County Codefips_county_codetextA federal information processing series five-digit code for the identification of counties and county equivalents of the United States and its insular and associated areas, for the purpose of information interchange among data processing systems. (INCITS 31-2009). The code is associated with the county listed.
County Namecounty_nametextThe county of residence at time of the child welfare assessment.
DHS Service Areadhs_service_areatextThe DHS Service area associated with the county. Service area represents the name of the service area at time of the assessment.
Judicial Districtjudicial_districttextThe Judicial District associated with the county.
DispositiondispositiontextDisposition reflects counts associated with family assessments (beginning January 1, 2014), denial of critical care cases where the child is not in imminent danger, and the disposition of child abuse investigations. Disposition of child abuse investigations include: “unconfirmed”- abuse did not occur; “confirmed”- abuse occurred, but it was minor, isolated and not likely to reoccur, does not go on the central abuse registry; or “founded”- abuse occurred and placement on the child abuse registry.
ReportsreportsnumberReports reflects the number of child welfare assessments (either family assessments or child abuse investigations) conducted by DHS. The report is associated with the most adverse disposition.
Unique Childrenunique_childrennumberUnique children only counts children once in a calendar year. Each child welfare assessment report may have multiple children indicated, and a single child may be associated with more than one report in a given year. If a child is associated with multiple reports, the child is only counted on the report associated with most adverse disposition during the calendar year. If a child had multiple reports in multiple counties, the child is only counted in the county with the report associated with the most adverse disposition.
Duplicate Childrenduplicate_childrennumberDuplicate children counts all children included in child welfare assessment reports. If a child was on multiple reports in multiple counties, that child will be counted for each county and disposition indicated during the calendar year.
County Primary Pointcounty_primary_pointpointPrimary latitude and longitude in decimal degrees that create the primary point for the county as provided by U.S. Geological Survey, 19810501, U.S. Geographic Names Information System (GNIS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. The primary point is generally at or near the geographic center of the county.