Improving Responses to Allegations of Severe Child Abuse Results from the Instant Response Team Program


Allegations of severe child abuse and neglect may require quick, coordinated responses by child welfare and law enforcement in order to reduce trauma to children and to arrest and prosecute perpetrators. This report examines the operations and outcomes of the Instant Response Team program, a collaboration between the New York City Administration for Children's Services and the New York Police Department that aims to have child protective workers, police, and, when appropriate, prosecutors respond to reports of severe child abuse or neglect within two hours and to conduct joint interviews of victims. The report found a measurable impact on services to children, and staff from all three agencies express support for the program.