CARA : a web-based environment for child protection workers

CARA (Child Abuse Risk Assessment) is a web-based learning environment which may be used by child protection investigators as well as caseworkers and followup workers, to think about the complexity of the factors related to the immediate safety and future risk of children. This is an American collaborative project between the Children & Family Research Center, the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

CARA is built around cases, scenes, factors and commentaries. Each of the cases has the name of the child who was the focus of that particular case investigation. Each case is divided into a number of scenes (written in narrative form), usually on the basis of the chronological development of the case during investigation. All of the scenes in each case have been examined in light of a set of global assessment factors. Each factor has a commentary drawn from the research literature that discusses the relevance of the factor to assessment in general.

CARA may be used by visitors, who are free to read the materials, or registered users, who may contribute comments to the learning environment. Registration is free. The materials may be worked through in a sequential or a non-sequential mode.

Beena Choksi
Erin Billie
John House
Jill Kagle
Punya Mishra
John Poertner
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. School of Social Work
The Children and Family Research Center