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Capacity Building

CENTER FOR STATES

Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional

Use this series of six tip sheets to find information that supports caseworkers responding to families experiencing domestic violence and child maltreatment.

This series provides tips to support caseworkers responding to families experiencing domestic violence and child maltreatment. It addresses the intersection between domestic violence and child welfare, including agency recognition of this overlap, current research, and relevant definitions. The series consists of six tip sheets that offer foundational information for general practices, assessment documentation, decision-making, planning, and family engagement.

  • Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional: General Practice Tips  addresses general practice considerations for agency interventions, such as screening, risk assessment, and documentation. This tip sheet provides foundational information and suggestions for using effective language for documentation, assessing safety and the impact of domestic violence on survivors, and avoiding assumptions in casework.
  • Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional: Tips for Assessment discusses using domestic violence assessments for determining family dynamics, patterns of abuse, lethality, and the safety needs of child and adult survivors. This tip sheet addresses coercive control assessment, parenting abilities, risk, impact on survivors, and protective efforts.
  • Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional: Tips on Documentation describes the importance of documentation for conducting court proceedings, holding perpetrators accountable, and promoting survivor safety and well-being. This tip sheet provides information on creating effective documentation language and documenting controlling behaviors and tactics, protective efforts, and the impact of abuse, and includes supporting examples.
  • Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional: Tips on Decision-Making discusses domestic violence decision-making, including caseworker response, court petitions, behaviorally-focused service plans, legal interventions, and abuse substantiation. This tip sheet provides information on safe and effective decision-making through the legal system, service plans for perpetrators, and reunification and home visits.
  • Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional: Tips on Planning addresses universal, safety, and case-planning strategies and documentation, including integrating language that promotes survivor safety and perpetrator accountability and developing child-centered plans and service referrals. This tip sheet provides suggestions for effective casework and offers supporting examples.
  • Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional: Tips on Engaging Families discusses family engagement strategies for survivors, children, and perpetrators of domestic violence, including using effective language and questions, applying collaborative approaches, and identifying strengths. This tip sheet addresses topics such as confidentiality, caseworker safety evaluation, parenting skills, and appropriate child engagement.

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