Research Report: 2013 Child Abuse and Neglect Institute in Atlanta, GA

June 23, 2014

The Child Abuse and Neglect Institute (CANI) is a week-long training program that provides instruction in dependency court best practices for judicial officers who have been recently assigned to child abuse and neglect cases. Since 1996, the NCJFCJ has offered annual CANI trainings in Reno, NV, as well as additional CANI trainings throughout the U.S. The NCJFJC recently conducted an evaluation of a CANI training held in fall 2013 in Atlanta, GA. The purposes of this evaluation were to 1) Obtain participant feedback regarding their satisfaction with the training and target areas for improvement; 2) Assess changes in participants’ knowledge as a result of attending CANI; and 3) Assess changes in participants’ decision-making as a result of attending CANI.

This report presents the results of this three-pronged evaluation. Findings indicated that participants were highly satisfied with the training they received and the vast majority would recommend CANI to other judges. In addition, pre- and post-surveys indicated significant increases in participants’ reported knowledge of all 16 core topics covered by CANI. Finally, the CANI training appeared to impact judicial decision-making in some areas, as evidenced by a comparison of responses to a decision-making exercise administered before and after the training. The implications of these findings and how they can be used to further improve CANI trainings are discussed.

Research Evidence Classification: Promising Direction 

The Child Abuse and Neglect Institute (CANI) was recently evaluated in terms of its effects on knowledge acquisition of key topic areas and decision-making in mock child abuse and neglect case. In accordance with the NCJFCJ Policy Statement on Evidence of Effectiveness, CANI has been classified by NCJFCJ research staff as a Promising Direction using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Continuum of Evidence of Effectiveness, specifically as it relates to the outcomes identified above.