The Another Road to Safety (ARS) program, an alternative response intervention, is
targeted to zip codes with the highest rates of child abuse and neglect reporting in Alameda
County. This program takes a new approach in child welfare by attempting to intervene with
families early, to prevent future incidence and escalation of child maltreatment. Families who
are reported to the Alameda County hotline are referred to the ARS program if they meet the
following criteria: screened as no investigation need (i.e., low risk); child age 0-5 or a pregnant
mother in the home; and residence in certain designated zip codes in East Oakland, West
Oakland, or South Hayward.
The success of alternative/differential response relies upon the availability and
accessibility of services in neighborhoods, to which families will be linked. From qualitative
interviews with ARS program staff, it is clear that the neighborhood context plays a major role in
the provision of ARS services with regard to the unique array of resources in each neighborhood.
This sub-study seeks to illuminate the resource availability and accessibility in ARS
neighborhoods and how these factors may affect the outcomes of ARS services. The research
question to be answered is: What is the availability and accessibility of services in Alameda
County neighborhoods with high rates of reported child maltreatment and substantiated child
maltreatment? Analysis was conducted at two levels: zip code level, because services are
targeted by zip code; and census tract level, because this geographic designation may more
closely resemble what people consider to be their neighborhoods.