Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2501772
 


 



The Standard of Proof at Adjudication of Abuse or Neglect: Its Influence on Case Outcomes at Key Junctures


Ashley Provencher


Siena College

Josh Gupta-Kagan


University of South Carolina School of Law

Mary Eschelbach Hansen


American University - Department of Economics

September 25, 2014

Social Work & Social Sciences Review 17(2), 2014 Forthcoming

Abstract:     
We measure the extent to which the standard of proof a state child protection agency must meet at trial in a child abuse or neglect case influences the outcomes in the case. In the United States, the government of each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia sets its own standard of proof. We measure the influence of the standards of proof using survey data. We find that a higher standard of proof — one requiring the government to present clear and convincing evidence of abuse or neglect rather than only requiring a preponderance of the evidence of abuse or neglect — decreases the probability that the judge rules in favor of CPS. A clear and convincing standard also affects decisions before trial: it increases the number of visits made by CPS during an investigation; it lowers the odds that CPS substantiates the case; and it lowers the odds that a case reaches trial. After trial, it increases the probability of an out-of-home placement.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: child protective services, child welfare, foster care, standard of proof, burden of proof


Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: September 27, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Provencher, Ashley and Gupta-Kagan, Josh and Hansen, Mary Eschelbach, The Standard of Proof at Adjudication of Abuse or Neglect: Its Influence on Case Outcomes at Key Junctures (September 25, 2014). Social Work & Social Sciences Review 17(2), 2014 Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2501772

Contact Information

Ashley Provencher
Siena College ( email )
Loudonville, NY
United States
Josh Gupta-Kagan (Contact Author)
University of South Carolina School of Law ( email )
Main & Greene Streets
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
Mary Eschelbach Hansen
American University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20016-8029
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,081
Downloads: 139
Download Rank: 165,490