FAQ: Safety Indicators
Updated for CFSR Round 4!
Read responses to questions about the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) statewide data indicators used to evaluate state performance on CFSR Safety Outcome 1.
Last updated: October 2022
Learn about each statewide data indicator, including its definition, calculation specifications, data requirements, and the national performance value for CFSR Round 4 in the Center for States’ Statewide Data Indicator series, including:
Information on each statewide data indicator can also be found in the CFSR Round 4 Statewide Data Indicator Data Dictionary.
For this indicator, the denominator includes the number of children with at least one substantiated or indicated report in a 12-month period. The numerator includes the number of children in the denominator that had another substantiated or indicated maltreatment report within 12 months of their initial report. This requires a subsequent 12-month period to determine whether a child was the victim of an additional substantiated or indicated maltreatment report.
For more information on the calculation of this indicator, see Recurrence of Maltreatment: CFSR Round 4 Statewide Data Indicator Series.
A child’s risk of experiencing maltreatment can vary depending on the number of days they are in care. The maltreatment in care rate calculates the total number of victimizations divided by the total number of days in care experienced by all children during a given year. Because maltreatment is a rare occurrence, the rate is expressed in terms of victimizations per 100,000 days in care. This allows for a more straightforward comparison between groups (age, race/ethnicity, locality) serving different numbers of children.
For example, Locality A had four substantiated allegations out of 30,000 total days in care and Locality B had 52 substantiated allegations out of 714,000 days in care. By saying that Locality A has a rate of 13.33 per 100,000 days and Locality B has a rate of 7.28 per 100,000 days, it makes differences (or similarities) easier to identify: Locality A has almost twice the maltreatment in care rate of Locality B, and may be a focus for improvement.
For more information on the calculation of this indicator, see Maltreatment in Foster Care: CFSR Round 4 Statewide Data Indicator Series.
The syntax to calculate performance on recurrence of maltreatment uses child abuse victimization incident dates when available to determine whether substantiated or indicated maltreatment reports refer to the same incident, in which case the duplicate record is excluded. The comparison of victimization incident dates is a secondary check done only when incident dates are reported in the NCANDS file for each substantiated or indicated maltreatment report being compared. States are encouraged to include incident dates in NCANDS submissions to help increase the accuracy of safety indicator calculations.
The syntax to calculate performance on maltreatment in foster care uses child abuse victimization incident dates when available to help determine whether the victimization occurred outside the dates of the child’s foster care episode.
Victimization incident dates are not used to determine the occurrence or recurrence of child maltreatment for the two CFSR safety data indicators.
Find information about using CFSR statewide data indicators to assess performance on child safety and permanency outcomes. Updated for Round 4!