Evidence-Based Practice in Domestic Violence Services
Child welfare professionals should strive to ensure that they are providing sound and effective services to children, youth, and families impacted by domestic violence. This section includes resources on promising practices in child welfare and domestic violence services, including State and local examples.
The practices included below have been identified by their developers or an outside group as "evidence-based." Child Welfare Information Gateway and the Children's Bureau do not endorse individual practices or programs or make any claims about the effectiveness of the approaches described. This information is provided as a resource.
Evidence-Based Practices for Children Exposed to Violence: A Selection From Federal Databases (PDF - 335 KB)
U.S. Department of Justice & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2011)
Summarizes Federal reviews of research studies and program evaluations to help localities address childhood exposure to violence and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities.
California Evidence-Based Practice Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
Provides information about programs in a number of topic areas related to child welfare, including domestic violence, that have been reviewed and rated utilizing the CEBC Scientific Rating scale to determine the level of evidence for the program.
Safe Start: Promising Approaches Communities: Working Together to Help Children Exposed to Violence (PDF - 1864 KB)
Safe Start Center & Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2008)
Describes each of the 15 Safe Start Promising Approaches communities and outlines how these programs are integrating evidence-based or promising practices as well as other complementary interventions within their geographical, agency, and community contexts.
Children Exposed to Violence
Provides research on programs serving children who have witnessed or are victimized by crime to inform practitioners and policymakers about what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. Research is scored on being effective, promising, or showing no effects.
Early Childhood, Domestic Violence, and Poverty: Helping Young Children and Their Families (PDF - 1532 KB)
Schechter (Ed.) (2004)
Presents a series of papers offering practical guidelines and policy recommendations to professionals who work with young, low-income children affected by domestic violence and poverty.
Information Packet: Domestic Violence and Its Role in Child Welfare (PDF - 244 KB)
National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning (2006)
Examines the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare and presents effective practices that combine both fields.
Interpersonal Violence in the African American Community: Evidence-Based Prevention and Treatment Practices
Hampton, Thomas, & Ramos (2006)
Examines interpersonal violence within the African-American community and offers evidence-based practices for prevention and intervention.
Interventions to Address Intimate Partner Violence: The Current State of the Field
Lutzker (Ed.) (2006)
In Preventing Violence: Research and Evidence-Based Intervention Strategies
Reviews the most common types of interventions to address intimate partner violence (IPV), including community-based programs to assist victims, criminal legal system-based programs to assist victims or hold batterers accountable, batterer intervention programs, and coordinating councils designed to bring systems together to respond effectively to IPV.
Protecting Children From Violence: Evidence Based Interventions
Lampinen & Sexton-Radek (2010)
Explores the causes and consequences of violence against children and examines the best practices used to help protect children from violence.
Steps Toward Safety: Improving Systemic and Community Responses for Families Experiencing Domestic Violence (PDF - 1720 KB)
Family Violence Prevention Fund (2007)
Examines lessons learned from programs for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
A Systematic Review of Trauma-Focused Interventions for Domestic Violence Survivors (PDF - 711 KB)
Warshaw, Sullivan, & Rivera (2013)
National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health
Reviews the trauma-based treatments that have been designed or modified specifically for intimate partner violence survivors and provides cautions and recommendations for moving forward.
Victim Services: Promising Practices in Indian Country
Tribal Law and Policy Institute (2004)
Describes promising practices for meeting the needs of victims of violence, including domestic violence, in American Indian communities.
Watching From the Stairs: Towards an Evidence-Based Practice in Work With Child Witnesses of Domestic Violence
Rivett, Howarth, & Harold
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2006
Examines current research that explains how witnessing domestic violence affects children and proposes guidelines for an evidenced-based practice that is built on this research.
State and local examples
Model Protocol for Advocates Working With Battered Women Involved in the Child Protection System (PDF - 555 KB)
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2003)
Describes the problems battered women face in maintaining custody of their children when they are involved in the child protection system and presents a model protocol for advocates in Washington State working with battered women with children.
Quality Child Welfare Practice With Families Affected by Domestic Violence: A Strategic Plan (PDF - 133 KB)
New York Administration for Children's Services (2003)
Presents a strategic plan for developing an integrated, comprehensive, and cohesive response to domestic violence in New York City's Administration for Children's Services.