New Practices and Research on Child Protection and Domestic Violence

A newly revised field manual, Child Protection in Families Experiencing Domestic Violence, is now available. The manual reflects recent practice innovations, the latest research and data, and a greater emphasis on family preservation and in-home services.

The comprehensive user manual informs child protective services (CPS) workers, supervisors, and related professionals on multiple issues related to the co-occurrence of child maltreatment and domestic violence. The newly revised edition reflects the Children’s Bureau commitment to a collaborative and community-based approach to child protection and offers guidance on:

  • Ensuring the safety of children in incidents of domestic violence
  • Ensuring domestic violence survivor safety
  • Perpetrator accountability
  • Agency response

The updated manual also addresses the following practice issues:

  • Guidelines for assessing families experiencing domestic violence
  • Perpetrators of domestic violence
  • Adult survivors and child witnesses
  • Complexity of children’s issues and trauma-focused approach
  • Safety and wellness for CPS workers
  • Building collaborative responses for families experiencing domestic violence

The revised manual is part of the Children’s Bureau Child Abuse and Neglect User Manual Series—last updated in 2003—and serves as a companion piece to Child Protective Services: A Guide for Caseworkers, a second revised manual in the series. The updated manuals from the U.S. Department of Health and Services’ Children’s Bureau Office on Child Abuse and Neglect are available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals.

For a series of tip sheets on how to respond to families experiencing domestic violence and child maltreatment—including general practice recommendations, suggestions for engaging families, and guidance on documentation, assessment, decision-making, and planning—see the Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for States’ Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional Series at https://capacity.childwelfare.gov/states/focus-areas/child-protection/domestic-violence.

Your feedback is important. Be sure to let them know how they are doing by taking their survey! For more information, visit their website, email them at info@childwelfare.gov, or call them toll-free at 1.800.394.3366.

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