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ERIC Number: EJ790520
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
The Canadian Child Welfare System Response to Exposure to Domestic Violence Investigations
Black, Tara; Trocme, Nico; Fallon, Barbara; MacLaurin, Bruce
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v32 n3 p393-404 Mar 2008
Objective: While child welfare policy and legislation reflects that children who are exposed to domestic violence are in need of protection because they are at risk of emotional and physical harm, little is known about the profile of families and children identified to the child welfare system and the system's response. The objective of this study was to examine the child welfare system's response to child maltreatment investigations substantiated for exposure to domestic violence (EDV). Methods: This study is based on a secondary analysis of data collected in the 2003 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS-2003). Bivariate analyses were conducted on substantiated investigations. A binary logistic regression was also conducted to attempt to predict child welfare placements for investigations involving EDV. Results: What emerges from this study is that the child welfare system's response to EDV largely depends on whether it occurs in isolation or with another substantiated form of child maltreatment. For example, children involved in substantiated investigations that involve EDV with another form of substantiated maltreatment are almost four times more likely than investigations involving only EDV to be placed in a child welfare setting (Adjusted Odds Ratio = 3.87, p less than 0.001). Conclusions: These findings suggest that the involvement of child welfare has not resulted in the widespread placement of children exposed to domestic violence. The Canadian child welfare system is substantiating EDV at a high rate but is concluding that these families do not require child protection services. Practice implications: There is debate in the literature about how the child welfare sector should respond to cases involving exposure to domestic violence. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this study finds that children who are the subject of investigations involving substantiated exposure to domestic violence are less likely to be removed from their home than children experiencing other forms of maltreatment. Strategies need to be developed to counter misperceptions about the intrusiveness of child welfare, and discussions need to take place about when it is appropriate for child welfare to become involved when children are exposed to domestic violence.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada