Collaborative Responses to Domestic Violence
and Child Abuse and Neglect

August 12, 2011 Albuquerque, NM

This Summit brought together members of the domestic violence advocacy community and the child welfare system to increase our understanding of how domestic violence and child maltreatment intersect and to discuss ways to improve coordination of services for the families involved.  National experts, Wisconsin Children's Court Judge Marshall B. Murray and Nancy Grigsby of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, explored the goals and principles of the child welfare system and domestic violence advocates, the impact of co-occurring domestic violence and abuse on children and parents, and the protective capacity of parents experiencing intimate partner violence

Faculty Bios | Summit Agenda | Acknowledgments

Understanding our Differences

Understanding our Differences PDF: Understanding our DifferencesUnderstanding our Differences

This plenary session focused on the systemic and structural differences that can make cross-system collaboration challenging.

Overview of Domestic Violence

DV Overview PDF: overview of domestic violence
Overview of Domestic Violence

In this breakout session for professionals and volunteers from the child welfare system, Nancy Grigsby defined battering, described what domestic violence is and isn't, explored various tactics batterers use to exercise power and control, and described how domestic violence impacts victims.

Overview of the Child Welfare System

Overview of the Child Welfare System PDF: a day in the life of a dependency case with DV
A day in the life of a dependency case with DV

This breakout session for domestic violence advocates and service providers introduced the purposes, state and federal legal requirements, and processes of the child welfare system, describing the timelines unique to child welfare cases, the goals of safety, permanency, and well-being, and the requirement that reasonable efforts be made to prevent removal and reunify families.

Barriers to Leaving

Barriers to leaving PDF: Barriers to safety
Barriers to Safety
PDF: Barriers chart
Barriers Chart

Through presentations and small group discussion, participants focused on the barriers to safety and leaving that are created by community, trauma, socialization, and a victim's history of childhood abuse. During this dialog, participants explored how these barriers to escape can also be barriers to successfully completing a case plan and how to create a case plan that helps victims overcome the barriers identified in individual cases.

Domestic Violence Impacts on Children and Parents

Impacts video PDF: Impacts and dilemmas
Impacts and Dilemmas

Beginning with a discussion of the ways that domestic violence negatively impacts children and parenting, and explaining how our legal responses (such as protection orders and foster care) are often inadequate or are otherwise difficult for children and families, the presenters began to focus on the resilience factors and innovative approaches that our systems can use to enhance family safety.

Tools for Improving Practice, Coordinating Services, and Collaboration

Tools PDF: tools for improving practiceTools for Improving Practice  PDF: GCADV Tool Kit
GCADV Tool Kit

PDF: protective capacitiesCYFD Protective Capacities
PDF: Safety ThreatsCYFD Safety Threats PDF: Child Safety AssessementCYFD Safety Assessment Guidelines PDF: Discussion ScenarioDiscussion Scenario PDF: Discussion QuestionsDiscussion Questions

Beginning with a presentation on innovative practices and approaches being used around the country to increase cross-system understanding and collaboration, the main part of this session involved small group discussions of a hypothetical family, focusing on identifying threats to the children's safety and the parent's protective capacities, creating a meaningful safety plan, when and whether a protection order is appropriate, and exploring how participants see the hypothetical family differently as a result of the Summit.

Additional Resources not Specific to any Particular Session

Excerpts from New Mexico Statutes, Rules, and Case Law

Safe and Together, Shifting the Paradigm Where Domestic Violence, Child Maltreatment and Child Welfare Meet.


Checklist to Promote Perpetrator Accountability in Dependency Cases Involving Domestic Violence, NCJFCJ, 2011.

Child Safety – A Guide for Judges and Attorneys,  Therese Roe Lund (National Resource Center for Child Protective Services) and Jennifer Renne (National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues), America Bar Association, 2009.

Reasonable Efforts Checklist for Dependency Cases Involving Domestic Violence, National  Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ),  2008.

A Judicial Guide to Child Safety in Custody Cases, NCJFCJ, 2008.

Fathering After Violence –Working with Abusive Fathers in Supervised Visitation, Family Violence Prevention Fund Publication, 2007.

Child Protection in Families Experiencing Domestic Violence, US Department of Health and Human Services, 2003.

Advocacy Beyond Leaving—Helping Battered Women in Contact With Current or Former Partners, Jill Davies, 2009.

Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice, Susan Schechter and Jeff Edleson, 1998.

Confidentiality & Information Sharing Issues—For Domestic Violence Advocates Working with Child Protection and Juvenile Court Systems, Jill Davies.

Tool Kit: Domestic Violence Cases, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Family Violence Unit of the Georgia Department of Human Resources, the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, and the Georgia Legal Services Program.  GCADV Tool Kit

In the Name of the Child: A Developmental Approach to Understanding and Helping Children of Conflicted and Violent Divorce, J. R. Johnston, V. Roseby, & K. Kuehnle (2nd ed., 2009) (chapter 11, on domestic violence, describes the P5 guideline for custody and parenting plans that evaluates the potency of violence, patterns of violence, primary perpetrator of violence, parenting problems, and perspective of the child).