- May 2010
- Vol. 11, No. 4
Assessing Child Safety With Domestic Violence
Enhancing the safety of children involved in domestic violence situations is the focus of a new factsheet from the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). Promising Approaches: Working With Families, Child Welfare and Domestic Violence provides guidelines to mandated reporters about assessing safety and risk in order to determine when to file a report of concern.
While mandated reporters in Massachusetts do have a responsibility to file reports when a child is endangered by domestic violence, not every circumstance involving domestic violence merits intervention by the child protection system. In fact, a report may create additional risks of harm for a child and the caregiver. Mandated reporters can use the questions provided in this factsheet to help them assess risk factors and determine whether a report is merited or whether it is more appropriate to connect the family to social services, counseling, battered women's programs, or other family or community supports. Approaches to how to file a report in a manner that enhances the family's safety also are provided.
The factsheet is available on the DCF website: