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.
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.
Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare Professional Tip Sheets
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Addresses general practice considerations for agency interventions, such as screening, documenting descriptions of abuse and protective efforts, and evaluating risk. These tip sheets provide 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.
- General Practice Tips (PDF - 127 KB)
- Tips for Documentation (PDF - 136 KB)
- Tips for Assessment (PDF - 86 KB)
- Tips on Decision-Making (PDF 119 KB)
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.
Steps Toward Safety: Improving Systemic and Community Responses for Families Experiencing Domestic Violence (PDF - 1,720 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.
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 - 254 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.