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June 2015Vol. 16, No. 5CPS and the Rights of Domestic Violence Victims

Federal and State laws require agencies to make reasonable efforts to prevent a child's out-of-home placement and provide necessary preventative services. The identification, assessment, and impact of domestic violence and the presence of protective factors are key elements in child protective services' (CPS's) response to child maltreatment and efforts toward child well-being. The Washington State Coalition against Domestic Violence developed a guide to assist victims of domestic violence at different stages of a CPS investigation.

Based on the Washington Department of Social and Health Services Children's Administration policies and practices guidelines, the guide focuses on the rights of domestic violence victims throughout the course of a CPS investigation. The guide discusses what happens when a report of child abuse and neglect is made, from the initial screening to the resulting CPS involvement, with child and victim safety as paramount concerns.

Other relevant topics examined by the authors include:

  • Working collaboratively with caseworkers around a safety plan
  • Ensuring that domestic violence perpetrators are held accountable for their actions
  • Engaging in family team decision-making meetings
  • Seeking the assistance of domestic violence advocates

The guide also provides a glossary of terms and additional information about parents' rights.

Know Your Rights When CPS Comes Knocking is available on the Washington State Coalition against Domestic Violence website at (324 KB).