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February 2005Vol. 6, No. 1New Releases in the OCAN User Manual Series

The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recently released two more publications in its popular User Manual series. The first, Supervising Child Protective Services Caseworkers, provides the foundation for effective supervisory practice in child protective services (CPS). It describes the roles and responsibilities of the CPS supervisor, and it offers practice-oriented advice on how to carry out supervisory responsibilities effectively. Best practices and critical issues in supervisory practice are underscored throughout. Topics include the nature of CPS supervision, building staff capacity, supervisory feedback, clinical supervision, and recruitment and retention. While the manual is designed primarily for CPS supervisors and administrators, it also is relevant to other child welfare supervisors.

The second new User Manual, Child Protection in Families Experiencing Domestic Violence, looks at the problem of domestic violence in families. While system responses are primarily targeted towards adult victims of abuse, increasing attention is focused on the children who witness domestic violence. Studies estimate that 10 to 20 percent of children are at risk for exposure to domestic violence. Research also indicates that children exposed to domestic violence are at an increased risk of being abused or neglected. This manual provides background on this complex topic and addresses many practice issues, including the overlap between child maltreatment and domestic violence, modifying child protection practice with families experiencing domestic violence, enhancing caseworker safety and support in child protection cases involving domestic violence, and building collaborative responses for families experiencing domestic violence.

Another recent title in the User Manual series is The Role of Educators in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect. This manual examines the roles that teachers, school counselors, school social workers, school nurses, special education professionals, administrators, and other school personnel have in helping maltreated children.

These publications, as well as other titles in the User Manual series, are available through the website of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information: