There is a graphic making the rounds in child welfare that’s gotten a fair amount of attention lately. The graphic tracks the rate at which caseworkers “substantiated” various forms of child abuse and neglect allegations from 1990 to 2018.
It was created by Prof. David Finkelhor and his colleagues at the University of New Hampshire. In 2020, it turned up in a conference presentation from Prevent Child Abuse America. Then Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago used it in a PowerPoint presentation of its own. And then John Kelly raised it with Chapin Hall Executive Director Bryan Samuels on The Imprint’s weekly podcast.
You’ll probably find it striking too.
“I was wondering,” one advocate said to me upon seeing the graphic in Chapin Hall’s presentation, “does slide #7 look right to you?”
No, it doesn’t look right. Because it isn’t right. Some of the numbers in the slide aren’t real.