Assessing Risk of Future Delinquency Among Children Receiving Child Protection Services

In an effort to prevent children who are already involved with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (LA DCFS) from becoming involved with the Los Angeles County Probation Department, county managers sought to develop a structured, actuarial assessment to help identify which children served by LA DCFS were most likely to become delinquent. The managers intend to provide additional supports to children who are at high risk of future delinquency. For example, the county may provide wraparound services to meet the specific needs of these high risk children, in an effort to prevent them from becoming delinquent. This report describes the longitudinal study conducted to identify the risk factors for delinquency and construct a screening assessment that classifies children with an open child protective services case by the likelihood of future delinquency.