Pro Bono Assistance in Case of Government Agency’s Finding of Child Abuse


A local agency of the state Department of Social Services charged a youth with improper conduct towards a neighborhood girl. Following an anonymous report, a psychologist hired by the local agency interviewed the youth, and made a determination supporting the Department. The local agency made a finding of child abuse and neglect.


In a case done in part on a pro bono basis, counsel for the youth asked Analysis & Inference to research the relative frequency of charges made by local agencies.

Statistical analysis revealed that findings of abuse and neglect by this agency ranked, for several years, among the highest of the roughly 200 local agencies in the state. Moreover, they were statistical outliers in the distribution of rates. Using regression analysis, differences in rates between agencies were not associated with socio-economic characteristics.


The conclusion called into question the uniform administration by the state of the law on abuse and neglect in different localities. Analysis & Inference provided an Affidavit for an administrative hearing on its findings. Analysis & Inference has teamed with other law firms in pro bono cases.