Office of Children and Family Services

Domestic Violence

Child Welfare

Research shows that when families served by child welfare are actively involved in making decisions about their own lives and the changes they have to make, child safety, permanency and well-being are more likely to be achieved. This practice is known as family engagement.

When domestic violence is the cause of or contributes to child abuse or neglect, caseworkers need guidance and support to decide when and how to safely implement family engagement practice strategies. 

Engaging families who experience domestic violence is especially challenging for child welfare caseworkers.

To create practice guidance to safely implement a variety of family engagement strategies, OCFS worked with a nationally recognized consultant in child welfare/domestic violence intervention and the Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence to develop the tools below.

Use these tools to engage families affected by domestic violence safely:

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