A New Approach: How a New Method of Investigating Allegations of Child Abuse and Neglect Can Help Children and Their Caregivers

The CPO discusses how one study may inform the way Colorado responds to child abuse and neglect investigations.

On May 26, 2021, Tiffany Madrid, the CPO’s Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy, sat down with Dr. Kristin Klopfenstein (bottom window), the director of the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab and Dr. Anne DePrince (top left window), a professor of psychology at the University of Denver and the director of the Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning to discuss a 2019 report that can inform the way Colorado responds to child abuse and neglect investigations.

With funding and support from the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, Drs. Anne DePrince and Julia Dmitrieva’s research team completed the report “The Impact of a Multidisciplinary Team Response to Child Abuse and Neglect Investigations.” It highlights how the coordination of government systems, including child welfare, criminal justice, and health agencies, during an investigation of child abuse and neglect allegations is linked to higher substantiation rates of abuse and/or neglect. The investigative approach, called a multidisciplinary team (MDT) response, can also help ensure that investigations are completed more thoroughly, that children are placed with relatives upon removal from their homes and strong communication between response teams and caregivers.

The discussion highlighted the finding of the report and specific steps agencies can take to help advance an MDT response.

Tiffany Madrid has served as the Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy for Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman since January 2020. She works to connect policy, law and practice to improve service delivery and outcomes within Colorado’s child protection system. As an expert in evidence-based policymaking, she has helped multiple organizations leverage research and data to better their practices and policies, and she has aided in the development of several state laws.