New 2013 Policy Briefs Now Available
Policy Brief #1, Prevention and Response to Rape-Related Pregnancy
This policy brief describes rape-related pregnancy in the United States, including prevalence, consequences, and evidence-informed recommendations. It is estimated that 25,000 to 32,000 adult women become pregnant from sexual assault annually in the United States, and as much as 20% of battered women experience a rape-related pregnancy. Sexual assault survivors are at significant increased risk for PTSD, which then increases the risk of adverse pregnancy related health outcomes if they experience rape-related pregnancy. Emergency contraception (EC) has been shown to reduce pregnancy risk, but barriers to access exist in hospital Emergency Departments. Additionally, research identifying best practices for healthy birth outcomes in the case of rape-related pregnancy is absent. Key recommendations include (1) increase training of emergency department physicians and awareness in the general public on the importance and effectiveness of EC in rape cases and (2) increase training for Medicaid and other insurance representatives on policies related to the availability of coverage for abortions in the case of rape and incest.
Policy Brief #2, Missouri Policy Opportunities: New Evidence and Innovations in Child Welfare Systems
This policy brief describes the effectiveness of child protective service (CPS) responses nationwide. For 2008 alone, CPS agencies received an estimated 3.3 million referrals involving 6 million children, and of these only 62.5% were screened in for investigation or further assessment. In response to these high caseloads, CPS either screens out or does not open services for a sizable percentage of received referrals as agencies focus on the highest risk families, leaving low-risk families who need services alone. Differential response is a CPS response model that allows for CPS to respond to screened in reports of child abuse and neglect at an earlier stage by engaging families in a non-adversarial process by conducting assessments and linking them to community-based services. This model has shifted CPS systems from an investigative and judicial-based approach to collaborative efforts and capacity building among low-risk client families, thereby reducing the likelihood of future risk escalation and repeat referrals. As a result, CPS personnel can focus investigative resources on high-risk client families in which judicial intervention is required to address child(ren) safety concerns. Differential response has shown effectiveness among the Missouri CPS system. Key recommendations include the continued expansion and evaluation of differential response through continued use of funding options under the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Reauthorization Act of 2010 (CAPTA; 42 U.S.C. §5101 et seq.).