Responding to intimate partner violence in the child welfare system
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Responding to Intimate Partner Violence in the Child Welfare System. Exposure to IPV. Central Questions: Should exposure to violence or abuse between parents be a concern? If so, in what situations or level of risk should intervention occur? What responses are appropriate? .

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Responding to Intimate Partner Violence in the Child Welfare System

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Responding to intimate partner violence in the child welfare system

Responding to Intimate Partner Violence in the Child Welfare System


Exposure to ipv

Exposure to IPV

  • Central Questions:

    • Should exposure to violence or abuse between parents be a concern?

    • If so, in what situations or level of risk should intervention occur?

    • What responses are appropriate?


Mandate of the child welfare system

Mandate of the Child Welfare System

  • Best Interests of the Child

    • Historically and currently, children’s welfare is the primary consideration

    • Investigation to ensure child safety and well-being

    • Intervention occurs when children are at risk

Davis & Krane, 2006; Shephard & Raschick, 1999


Exposure to ipv1

Exposure to IPV

  • Should exposure to violence or abuse between parents be a concern?

    • Research on IPV exposure documents significant harm to children’s cognitive and social long-term adjustment and inconsistent and abusive parenting

    • Methodological limitations, inconsistent definitions, clinical samples, multiple sources of information, conflating direct and indirect harm, and harm due to community violence and poverty

    • Some children exposed exhibit behavioral, cognitive and emotional functioning and attitudes

Edleson, 1999; 2004; Fowler & Chanmugam, 2007; Hazen, Connelly, Kelleher, Landsverk, & Barth, 2004; Kohl & Macy, 2008


Ipv identification assessment

IPV Identification & Assessment

  • If so, in what situations or level of risk should intervention occur?

    • Theoretical development of the concept of IPV or IPA is increasingly complex

    • Multiple forms or patterns of relationships that suggest multiple responses

    • Little research of these in practice settings (in the context of complex and diverse families) and connections between IPV relationship type and harm to children

Antle, Barbee, Sullivan, Yankeelov, Johnson, & Cunningham, 2007; Johnson, 2006; Kelly and Johnson, 2008


Investigation of ipv child abuse

Investigation of IPV & Child Abuse

  • Is exposure to IPV identified as a concern?

    • CIS 2003 -- 28% of substantiated cases of child maltreatment involve exposure to DV as a primary form of maltreatment

    • Referral for services and out of home placement often involve many other co-occurring problems

    • Is the child welfare system appropriate?

Antle, Barbee, Sullivan, Yankeelov, Johnson, & Cunningham, 2007; Black, Trocme, Fallon, & MacLaurin, 2008


Established practices

Established Practices

  • What responses is appropriate?

    • Research is critical of established approaches: Examination of case files and interviews with social workers and interviews with mothers

    • Suggest two broad approaches – 1) minimization or 2) intrusive confrontation

    • Helpful responses – seeking of protection orders and aid in obtaining resources, i.e. childcare and housing

Humphreys, 1999; Johnson & Sullivan, 2008; Magen, 1999; Scourfield, 2001; Seith, 2001; Shepherds & Raschick, 1999;


Suggested alternatives

Suggested Alternatives

  • Increased focus on exposure to IPV as a form of child maltreatment:

    • Formalized screening for IPV and worker training

    • Inclusion of DV advocates within CW teams

    • Strengthening of and referrals to community DV services

Banks, Hazen, Coben, Wang, & Griffith, 2009; Edleson, 1999; Featherstone & Peckover, 2007; Magen, 1999; Smith, Kelleher, Barth, Coben, Hazen, Connelly, & Rolls, 2005)


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Is the child welfare system appropriate for families in which IPV is occurring?

    • Understanding of the role of child protection services:

    • Investigation of risky parenting and child functioning with services offered only when risk is evaluated as high or multiple concerns are evident

    • Or enlargement of the best interests of children mandate to include best interests of the caregivers


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