Families in need of domestic violence services reported to the child welfare system: Changes in the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being between 1999-2000 and 2008-2009
This study aimed to determine if identification of intimate partner violence (IPV) has improved by caseworkers that investigate reports of child maltreatment and if mothers who are victims of IPV are more likely to report receipt of services. The study data were drawn from the two cohorts of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW I and II), the first in 1999-2000 with a sample of 5,501 children reported for maltreatment and the second in 2008-2009 with a sample of 5,872 children reported for maltreatment. The analyses focused on IPV victimization of 3,625 mothers in NSCAW I and 3,351 mothers in NSCAW II whose children remained in home after the maltreatment investigation. Multiple group logistic regression was used to compare NSCAW I and II. A significant decrease in mother-reported IPV victimization (28.9-24.7%) was observed, representing a 15% decline. There were no significant changes in caseworker identification of history of domestic violence or active domestic violence. In both cohorts, substance abuse by the secondary caregiver was associated with a lower likelihood for the caseworker to miss a history of active domestic violence, while substantiation reduced the likelihood that the caseworker will miss active domestic violence. There were no changes in caseworkers' service referral, or service receipt among victims. The next decade of efforts to reduce IPV and child maltreatment should focus simultaneously on increasing caseworkers' ability to identify IPV and on funding needed services for families impacted by IPV and child maltreatment. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.