Studies show a significant relationship between domestic violence and child maltreatment. Research also shows that being exposed to domestic violence without being maltreated still places children at higher risk for various issues, including certain behavioral, social, emotional, and cognitive problems. Reunification in families affected by domestic violence can be complicated by safety issues for other members of the family, and child welfare professionals should be aware of these issues and the effects of domestic violence as they work with affected families.
Child Welfare Practices for Cases With Domestic Violence (PDF - 1,311 KB)
Oregon Department of Human Resources (2015)
Presents practices for child welfare cases involving domestic violence and considerations for ongoing safety plans and case plans, including guidelines about removing children from the home and reunification with one or more parents.
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau
Selleck, Kristen.;Newman, Jeannie.;Gilmore, Debra.
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Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional: Tips on Decision-Making (PDF - 118 KB)
Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative, Center for States (2017)
Discusses domestic violence decision-making, including caseworker response, court petitions, behaviorally-focused service plans, legal interventions, and abuse substantiation. This tip sheet also provides information on safe and effective decision-making through the legal system, service plans for perpetrators, and reunification and home visits.
Domestic Violence Practice Guide for Child Protective Services Colorado Department of Human Services (PDF - 975 KB)
Colorado Department of Human Services (2013)
Provides guidance for Colorado child protective services staff on cases that involve domestic violence, including factors to consider when exploring reunification.
Exploring Reasonable Efforts in Child Welfare Cases That Include Domestic Violence in Princeton, WV (PDF - 1,536 KB)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2013)
Examines how child abuse and neglect cases with co-occurring domestic violence are treated and whether this treatment differs from cases without domestic violence. The study examined efforts being made to hold perpetrators accountable and minimize victim blaming, differences in presenting problems and service referrals, and reunification outcomes.
The Impact of Batterers on Children: An Ohio Model Community Response Protocol (PDF - 1,352 KB)
Ohio Intimate Partner Violence Collaborative Statewide Planning Group (2015)
Serves as a guide for communities to develop a collaborative response to cases of domestic violence where children are impacted. The model includes a section on placement options and reunification planning.
Reasonable Efforts: A Judicial Perspective (PDF - 3,994 KB)
Outlines guidelines for judges and attorneys to ensure reasonable efforts have been made to prevent the removal of children from their families, to give families an opportunity to reunify after children have been removed, and to secure permanency for children. The book includes a section on domestic violence and possible reunification with the family.
Social Worker's Practice Guide to Domestic Violence (PDF - 5,325 KB)
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (2016)
Provides direction for social workers working with families experiencing domestic violence, including when and how to increase safety for children and adult victims and removal/reunification decisions.