This study examined policy and practice used by child welfare agencies to assess intimate partner violence.
Findings from the study include the following: 43 percent of agencies reported all families referred to the child welfare system were assessed for intimate partner violence (IPV), while almost 67 percent of agencies reported that almost 75 percent of families were assessed for IPV; almost 53 percent of the agencies had a written policy pertaining to screening and assessment of IPV; almost 56 percent of agencies had mechanisms in place to monitor whether cases were assessed for IPV; and 90 percent of agencies reported having specific questions regarding IPV on agency forms used in different stages of a case, either on their risk assessment tools or on their investigation forms. This study examined policy and practice used by child welfare agencies to assess intimate partner violence. Data for the study were obtained from the Children and Domestic Violence Services study that collected contextual data on child welfare policy and practice related to IPV and on the relationship between child welfare agencies and community domestic violence services. Demographic characteristics were obtained for child welfare agencies in each of the primary sampling units in the study. Analysis of the data indicates that while policies, staff training, and case monitoring protocols are important tools for use in assessing IPV cases, these tools have not been universally adopted by child welfare agencies across the country. Study limitations are discussed. Tables and references