Utilization of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect by child welfare agencies in Ontario.
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INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to analyze how child maltreatment surveillance data from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) is used by senior child welfare decision makers. METHODS: This triangulation mixed-methods study included quantitative and qualitative methods to facilitate an in-depth exploration from multiple perspectives. We interviewed Ontario child welfare decision makers to measure utilization of the CIS in policy development. RESULTS: The majority of respondents were aware of the CIS data. Decision makers reported using these data to determine resource allocation, understand reported maltreatment trends and validate findings at their own agencies. Urban agencies used the data more than did rural agencies. CONCLUSION: This study is the first to triangulate data to understand and improve utilization of child maltreatment surveillance data. The study participants indicated considerable appreciation of the data and also provided ideas for improvements across the surveillance cycle.
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