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The Growing Use of State Child Welfare Report Cards: What Attorneys Should Know

Daniel-Pollack-1In a recent article  Daniel Pollack, a  professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City and a frequent expert witness in child welfare lawsuits  and Cameron R. Getto a shareholder with Zausmer, August & Caldwell, P.C. in Farmington Hills, MI who focuses his practice on representing
nonprofits, health care professionals and human services organizations provides an in-depth analysis of the actual presentation and use of  state child welfare report cards.

While report cards are often useful in providing a good overview of child welfare agencies’ strengths and weaknesses, their condensed content can sometimes be misinterpreted or used unfairly. For example comparisons between States are often misleading because each State has a different methodology to produce its report card.  Politicians and media are big users of report cards. They mostly use the rankings and the grades to support their message. Report cards have also been used very effectively in litigation and the data underlying the report cards have affected court decisions throughout the United States far more than the report cards themselves.

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