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Response to Chicago Tribune story

Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback is designed to look at the fact patterns of children who died or had severe maltreatment in the past and apply those patterns to children in current cases.   We stand by the model and continue to work with organizations throughout the country to improve it.

“Our goal at Eckerd Connects is to provide child welfare agencies with tools and offer advice that can help these agencies and case managers do a better job at protecting these vulnerable children.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services acknowledged the data they provided to Eckerd Connects had multiple errors.   We also believe if Eckerd Connects had received more accurate information the results would have been different.

“Scores provided through Rapid Safety Feedback represent how those abused children match the historical data set, not that it will result in an outcome of death or serious injury.  The language that did appear on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services portal was confusing and once it was brought to our attention we corrected it immediately.

“We believe that every case should be handled on its own merits and that’s why Eckerd Connects recommends that information provided by Rapid Safety Feedback be used by experienced child welfare professionals trained on our model and not front line caseworkers.  These professionals can then go back and review a case to make sure a child is not in danger working in partnership with the front line.

“The story in the Chicago Tribune indicated that Rapid Safety Feedback identified 4,100 cases.  But what the story did not point out was the fact that 4,100 cases represents less than 3-percent of the 150,000 plus cases we analyzed over a two year period.  The story also does not point out 369 cases represent less than a quarter of a percent of the children analyzed to be at the highest risk.

“Across the country, child welfare systems are more challenged than ever to protect children from maltreatment, with children dying from abuse and neglect every day.   There is no perfect solution, but we believe this program, Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback, is one process that can be used to help reduce risk among the most vulnerable children.”

  • Eckerd Connects Spokesperson