When we visit our doctor’s office, the level of treatment we receive depends on the reason for our visit. For example, we don’t receive the same treatment when we have a sore throat as we do when our arm is broken.
Child Welfare Program Director Lois Ann Day describes Differential Response as a system change that “redesigns the front door to Child Welfare.”
Differential Response moves away from a one-size-fits-all approach to child protection by adding an alternate response track. Differential Response promotes partnering with parents, family, communities and neighborhoods to keep children safe. View The Wisdom of Families video.
Differential Response has been implemented in other states and is part of a national reform effort in Child Welfare. Research has shown that Differential Response can result in:
- Children being found just as safe regardless of which track they
are served in
- Fewer repeat cases of child abuse and neglect
- Lower placement rates of children in foster care
- Decreased disproportionality among children of color in foster care
- Reduced costs over time
- Increased satisfaction by families and child welfare workers
Oregon is currently in the process of implementing Differential Response, with this practice having begun in May 2014.
Learn more about Oregon’s efforts to Implement Differential Response.