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Child Victimization

Domestic Violence/Child Victimization Study and Policy Workgroup

This statewide multidisciplinary Workgroup:

  • Looks at how state law and policy helps and/or hinders safety of victims of domestic violence and their children;
  • Educates leaders on changes in law and policy when needed;
  • Receives input from “front-line” workers on effective strategies, emerging issues, and areas of concern;
  • Develops cross-disciplinary training on the co-existence of domestic violence and child abuse;
  • Produces guiding principles for working with families experiencing domestic violence in a way that supports and creates safety for victims and holds batterers accountable for abusive behaviors.

The following initiatives and products were developed through the work of this statewide initiative:

Domestic Violence Definitions Workgroup

This statewide multidisciplinary Workgroup engages in policy analysis to clarify ways domestic violence is defined, how it is being used, where it is not defined, and how to obtain consistent understanding and implementation.

Collaborative Training Curriculum Development with Child Protective Services

The WV Department of Health and Human Services Division of Training works collaboratively with the WVCADV Domestic Violence/Child Victimization Study and Policy Workgroup and the WVCADV Protective Services Coordinator to develop and revise mandated domestic violence training for all child welfare workers. The trainings are open to domestic violence advocates to encourage and facilitate cross training, collaboration and improve referrals and working relationships.

Collaborative Training and Policy Development with WV Supreme Court Improvement Project

The WVCADV Domestic Violence/Child Victimization Study and Policy Workgroup and the Protective Services Coordinator have worked collaborative with the WV Supreme Court Improvement Project to: (see “Systemic Change for a Safer State of Family”)

  • Develop and co-facilitate statewide training on the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect;
  • Revise procedural rules to monitor and hold accountable referrals to CPS from Family Court; (see  “Overview of Procedural Rules Changes to Address the Overlap of Child Abuse in Family and Circuit Courts”)
  • Develop WV Department of Health and Human Resources Child Protective Services Policy eliminating “failure to protect” language and using language reflected in WV Code and case law; (see DHHR website policy page)
  • Develop WV DHHR Department of Health and Human Resources Child Protective Services Policy to facilitate Co-Petitioning (CPS with the Battered Parent) in the CPS court process to hold batterers accountable for the child victimization without making the protective parent a respondent or at fault (see “Child Abuse and Neglect Petitions Involving Domestic Violence”);
  • Create a  “No-Fault” Battered Parent Adjudication in child protective services court proceedings that holds batterers accountable for child victimization while supporting and providing services for the adult and child victims (see “Battered Parent Adjudication Legislation HB 4694);
  • Include in the definition of child abuse children’s exposure to domestic violence when the exposure rises to a level of harm to the child (see “When Domestic Violence Rises to the Level of Child Abuse”);
  • Develop and conduct mandatory training and cross trainings to judges, court personnel, child welfare workers, attorneys, domestic violence advocates and community service providers.

Guidelines for Evolving Practice: Responding to the Co-occurrence of Domestic Violence and Child Victimization

 

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