Domestic violence situations can potentially result in serious harm, injury, or death for anyone involved. Child welfare professionals must take precautions when providing service to families experiencing domestic violence. These resources describe the risk factors and special safety precautions child welfare workers may need to take when working with families affected by domestic violence, including State and local examples.
Client Violence in Social Work Practice: Prevention, Intervention, and Research
Explains the causes of client violence, risk factors for client violence, and skills needed for assessment and prevention.
A Look at Safety in Social Work
Children's Services Practice Notes, 3(2), 1998
Provides practical suggestions for assessing potentially dangerous situations and strategies for maintaining personal safety.
Parenting, Violence, and Substance Abuse Issues in High-Risk Children and Youth
In The New Miracle Workers: Overcoming Contemporary Challenges in Child Welfare Work
Examines risks of harm to children and child welfare workers living and working in violent neighborhoods and provides strategies to help workers stay safe.
Social Work Safety
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Provides a collection of resources focused on worker safety, including NASW standards for safety.
Social Worker Personal Safety
Simmons College School of Social Work
Provides simple steps for social workers to take to help plan for their safety when working with survivors of domestic violence and their batterers.
Domestic Violence Initiative for Child Protective Services
Massachusetts Department of Social Services (2003)
Outlines a protocol for child protective workers in Massachusetts responding to situations involving domestic violence. Guiding principles for investigation, safety assessment, child interviews, assessment of offender liability, service planning, and documentation are described.
Domestic Violence Protocol for Child Protective Services Intervention
Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (2003)
Provides child protective workers in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, with considerations for interviewing mothers, children, and batterers and for ensuring worker safety.
Personal Safety for Visiting Professionals (PDF - 153 KB)
Minneapolis Police Department (2007)
Includes safety guidelines for professionals who conduct home visits.