Intervening when children are exposed to intimate partner violence challenges the resources of child protection agencies and the skills of individual child protection workers. Through in-depth qualitative interviews, 37 child protection workers were asked to provide descriptions of family situations with which they had worked that involved intimate partner violence (IPV) and explain the practices and interventions that were employed with these families. Although workers' descriptions revealed that they base their assessments of incidences of IPV on a similar and complex set of risk factors, there was variability in how these workers stated that they responded to these families. The paper describes the factors used by these workers to make decisions about the occurrence of IPV and concludes with recommendations to improve the consistency of responses to families experiencing IPV.
Children and Youth Services Review, 35(4): 611-617