Domestic Violence Practice Guide for Child Protective Services

Access the guide here.

In 2013, the Colorado Department of Human Services released its first ever Domestic Violence Practice Guide for Child Protective Services. The Guide was created by a wide group of stakeholders via the Domestic Violence/ Child Protective Services Coordinating Council, including staff from Violence Free Colorado & member organizations.

Over 1,600 workers throughout Colorado now have guidance for when child maltreatment and domestic violence co-occur! Since 40%-60% of child welfare cases involve domestic violence, this is excellent news.

The Practice Guide is built on this guiding principle:

“When there is a co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, the safety of children and youth is enhanced through promoting adult victim safety and empowerment, holding the perpetrator accountable, and engaging in community collaboration(s).”

The guide provides tools for addressing domestic violence at each point of Child Welfare involvement:

  • Screening (referrals, Differential Response)
  • Assessment (interviews, documentation, decision making)
  • Ongoing (Family Services Planning, case closure)

In addition, the guide devotes a section to Building a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence and emphasizes the value of linking adult victims with community-based advocacy organizations.

So what exactly is in there? A few of the tools include:

  • A chart of perpetrator tactics (p. 20-21)
  • A chart of ways children are impacted by domestic violence (p. 34-36)
  • The five Core Components of a domestic violence assessment (p. 50)
  • Key questions for supervising domestic violence assessments (p. 58)
  • Family services planning guidelines (p. 72), and sample plans (p. 109-116)

Check it out for yourself!
The guide is available here: Domestic Violence Practice Guide for Child Protective Services.

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