New Tool for Child Protective Services Workers: CDHS releases
Domestic Violence Practice Guide for Child Protective Services

In 2013, the Colorado Department of Human Services released its first ever Domestic Violence Practice Guide for Child Protective Services. The Guide was created by a wide group of stakeholders via the Domestic Violence/ Child Protective Services Coordinating Council, including staff from CCADV & member organizations.

Over 1,600 workers throughout Colorado will now have guidance for when child maltreatment and domestic violence co-occur! Since 40%-60% of child welfare cases involve domestic violence, this is excellent news.

The Practice Guide is built on this guiding principle:

“When there is a co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, the safety of children and youth is enhanced through promoting adult victim safety and empowerment, holding the perpetrator accountable, and engaging in community collaboration(s).”

The guide provides tools for addressing domestic violence at each point of Child Welfare involvement:

  • Screening (referrals, Differential Response)
  • Assessment (interviews, documentation, decision making)
  • Ongoing (Family Services Planning, case closure)

In addition, the guide devotes a section to Building a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence and emphasizes the value of linking adult victims with community-based advocacy organizations.

So what exactly is in there? A few of the tools include:

  • A chart of perpetrator tactics (p. 20-21)
  • A chart of ways children are impacted by domestic violence (p. 34-36)
  • The five Core Components of a domestic violence assessment (p. 50)
  • Key questions for supervising domestic violence assessments (p. 58)
  • Family services planning guidelines (p. 72), and sample plans (p. 109-116)

Check it out for yourself!
The guide is available here: DV_CPS_Practice_Guide_5.13.13.

Local advocates will play an important role in generating interest in the Guide and in providing expertise to sustain this model. CCADV is hosting recordings of webinars about Child Protective Services in the ‘Members’ section of our website. These webinars can help with basic information about CPS’ process, the Practice Guide, and steps advocacy organizations can take to increase coordination with CPS.

For more information, please contact Beth Collins at ecollins(at)ccadv.org or 303-962-3321.