Differential Response


Differential Response in Nevada

Differential Response (DR) is an early intervention and child abuse prevention program; it is a partnership between the Nevada Child Protective Service Agencies (CPS) and Family Resource Centers (FRC) to respond to screened-in Priority 3 child abuse/neglect cases and link these families to services in their communities. DR staff conduct Assessments of the reported families, instead of using a traditional investigative approach.

Differential Response funds are granted to nine Family Resource Centers in Nevada through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Grants Management Unit (GMU). One community based agency in Washoe County, the Children's Cabinet, is funded by Washoe County Department of Social Services to provide DR services in Reno and Sparks. Selection and hiring of DR workers is made by the individual agencies and DR workers must meet the minimum requirement of a bachelor's degree in social work, health and human services, family studies, or related field such as social science or psychology. A job offer is contingent on clearing a child protective service history check and passing a background check.

Determination for referral to DR is made at the CPS intake level. Reports assigned to DR are limited to Priority 3 reports and are assigned as a Non Agency Assessment response. DR staff have access to the statewide UNITY system and enter all information about the case into the system.

    Program Locations

      Differential Response Steering Committee

      The Differential Response program is monitored by a Steering Committee comprised of staff members from the Clark County Department of Family Services, Washoe County Department of Social Services, and Nevada Division of Child and Family Services Rural Offices; DR Program Managers (supervisors) from each of the program locations; and the DR Coordinators from the Department of Health and Human Services, Grants Management Unit.

      The committee holds quarterly meetings where they discuss issues, create and revise policies and quality assurance plans, and plan trainings for DR case workers. The meetings are open to the public and follow the Nevada Open Meeting Law. Meeting notices and agendas are posted in various locations throughout the State; they are also posted on this website and sent to interested parties via email.

      Contact Information

      For information on the Differential Response Program in Nevada, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services. 

      Marla Morris
      DCFS Family Programs
      (775) 684-7944
      E-mail: MLMorris@dcfs.nv.gov