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MODULE 4 Best Practice Approaches Determining A Response To Woman Abuse And Child Protection

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Title: MODULE 4 Best Practice Approaches Determining A Response To Woman Abuse And Child Protection


1
MODULE 4 Best Practice Approaches Determining
A Response To Woman Abuse And Child Protection
2
Module 4 Learning Objectives
  • Participants will
  • Be knowledgeable about Best Practice Approaches
    1, 2 and 3
  • Appreciate complexity of child protection
    responses in the context of violence against
    women
  • Be aware of risks associated with violence
    against women and able to assess risks

3
Module 4 Learning Objectives
  • Participants will
  • Be aware of criteria for child protection
    investigation in cases of violence against women
  • Develop appropriate assessment questions and
    responses for women and their abusive partners
  • Be aware of safety issues to consider when
    interviewing a non-offending woman and offending
    partner during a child protection assessment

4
Module 4 Learning Objectives
  • Participants will
  • Be comfortable asking questions that
    differentiate between women at risk for abuse and
    partners who pose a risk to womens and children
    and youths safety
  • Apply knowledge of violence against women and
    primary aggressor when receiving a report and
    determining a response

5
Module 4 Learning Objectives
  • Participants will
  • Describe key guidelines for effective
    interventions throughout a child protection
    process
  • Increase understanding about the barriers and
    challenges that women may face when trying to
    access services

6
Violence Against Women Best Practice Approaches
  • Receiving reports
  • Determining an appropriate response
  • Contacting the Police
  • Planning and Conducting an investigation
  • Childs immediate safety
  • Determining childs need for protection
  • Effective ways to protect children
  • Preparing for MCFD Family Court Hearings
  • Ongoing Protective Family Service
  • Building relationships and information sharing

7
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • Not All Violence Against Women Situations Need To
    Be Reported To Child Protection

8
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • Does not fulfill the Sec. 14 reporting
    requirement
  • Children with their mother in Transition House
  • Children attending Children Who Witness Abuse
    Programs

9
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • If you suspect that the situation involves
    violence ask
  • Is current or estranged partner posing a risk to
    the child(ren) and mother?
  • Are legal proceedings regarding custody underway?
  • Have police attended the home at any time in the
    past and if so for what purpose?
  • Have mother and children left their home due to
    safety concerns?

10
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • Level of danger in the home, if any? For example
  • the presence of weapons, particularly firearms
  • if threats of violence have been heard by the
    reporter
  • who has made the threats
  • when
  • nature of threats
  • when the most recent violence occurred
  • what was the most dangerous violence occurred

11
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • If it is determined that there is violence, ask
  • Location of the abuser
  • If the reporter is fearful of retribution for
    reporting
  • If the reporter is fearful for the womans and
    their childrens safety.
  • What the response might be to a child protection
    worker/police officer attending the home

12
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • If the information indicates that the family is
    involved in a custody and access dispute
  • Custody and access orders do not necessarily mean
    that a child or youth is safe from harm.
  • Violence frequently escalates during court
    proceedings.

13
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • The abuser and/or his family often
  • Threaten her with the removal of her children
  • Report her to a child protection worker
    (sometimes in attempt to build better case for
    custody and access)
  • If the reporter is a current or estranged
    partner, be cognizant of the preceding dynamics
    and complete a careful assessment of all of the
    pertinent information.

14
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • Allegations of mutual aggression often raised
  • Safety of children connected to safety of the
    mother
  • Violence towards the mother often escalates
    during changes in relationship

15
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • Some service providers reluctant to report a
    situation due to not knowing/being kept informed
    of process
  • discuss their issues or ethical dilemmas
  • help them understand reporting requirements
  • This cooperative approach serves the best
    interest of womens safety and maximizes their
    support network.

16
Best Practice Approach 1 Receiving Reports
  • meeting with the caller and/or client can be
    helpful
  • demystify the child protection social worker role
    and may reduce anxiety about ministry
    involvement
  • empower client by providing opportunity to talk
    about her situation in a supportive environment
  • clients refusal to meet fear of the unknown,
    past negative experiences, other valid reasons
    that should be explored

17
Best Practice Approach 2 Determining An
Appropriate Response
  • based on assessment of information and individual
    circumstances of situation
  • presence of children and/or youth does not
    necessarily warrant an investigation

18
Best Practice Approach 2 Determining An
Appropriate Response
  • May be opportunity to provide support services
  • Culturally sensitive, strength-based assessment
  • Referrals to existing appropriate support and
    services
  • Ensure aware of existing supportive resources
  • Safety plan, women- serving organizations

19
Best Practice Approach 2 Determining An
Appropriate Response
  • When offering voluntary services to the woman
  • existing supportive resources
  • safety plan
  • resources impact on child(ren) or youth

20
Best Practice Approach 3 Contacting the Police
  • no requirement to report a crime against an adult
  • woman may choose not to contact the police
  • increased risk of harm to self and children
  • fear or mistrust of authority figures, uniforms
  • Aboriginal women
  • Immigrant women

21
Best Practice Approach 3 Contacting the Police
  • Immigrant and Refugee Women
  • Important reasons for not calling police
  • 62 - fear that I will lose everything
  • (house, children, reputation, everything I have
    worked for)
  • once I involve the police
  • 42 - fear that my husband/partner
  • will be brutalized/victimized by police
  • Wife Assault Violence Against Women in
    Relationship. Victim Service Worker Handbook.
  • Ministry of Attorney General and Ministry of
    Womens Equality, May 1993

22
Best Practice Approach 3 Contacting the Police
  • In some situations, you may have to notify the
    police due to your own safety.
  • Try wherever possible and practical to advise the
    mother of the police involvement.

23
Best Practice Approach 3 Contacting the Police
  • In cases where the police are involved
  • co-ordinate activities
  • information on any criminal activities/orders
  • dynamics and impacts
  • risk factors for further violence
  • safety planning including
  • referral to legal, crisis housing, counselling
    and victim and other support services

24
Best Practice Approaches Appendix 4 - Reporting
Requirements
  • Section 14, subsection (1) of the CFCS Act
  • A person who has reason to believe that a child
    needs protection under section 13 must promptly
    report the matter to a director or a person
    designated by a director.

25
Best Practice Approaches Appendix 4 - Reporting
Requirements
  • intended to ensure the safety and well-being of
    children and youth
  • mothers, children and youth rejecting services
    due to fear of being reported to child protection
  • includes women who are refusing to stay in
    transition houses

26
Best Practice Approaches Appendix 4 - Reporting
Requirements
  • Reporting Guidelines
  • section 13 of the CFCSA - child or youth in need
    of protection
  • likely to be clause
  • women with children at a transition house
  • existing protocols and standards

27
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment
  • Two levels of assessment required
  • protection of the child(ren) and youth
  • risk to the woman/mother
  • Must guide all interventions, decisions and plans

28
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment
  • Assess and know dynamics of abuse, womens
    strengths and safety strategies
  • Keep in mind potential risks during all
    interventions
  • Provide adequate support for women and their
    children
  • Assess risks during and after apprehensions

29
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment
  • Canadian studies demonstrate family breakdown
    increases risk of violence and homicide
  • 50 of women assaulted by a previous partner,
    assaulted after separation - 2004
  • Nearly 1 in 5 separated wives were assaulted
    while they were separated
  • 35 reported that their husbands became more
    violent after the separation

30
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment
  • rate of spousal homicide of females 3 - 5 times
    higher than of males - 1974 to 2004
  • 50 of killings of female ex-partners - women
    killed within 2 months of leaving the
    relationship
  • Statistics Canada. Measuring Violence Against
    Women Statistical Trends 2006
  • Status of Women Canada 2002
  • Assessing Violence Against Women A Statistical
    Profile
  • Ogrodnik 2007, Spousal homicide or attempts
  • and prior police contact for spousal abuse

31
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment for
Homicide
  • Murder of a female partner is most likely to
    occur in the context of marital separation or
    divorce
  • Campbell et. al. 1993 M. Daly M. Wilson
    (1998).
  • Homicide A sourcebook of social research

32
Best Practice Approaches Risk Factors
  • Separation
  • Past Assault
  • Threats
  • Stalking
  • Escalation
  • Sexual Assault
  • Suicidal
  • Minimizing
  • Pregnancy
  • Child Abuse
  • Animal Abuse
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Control
  • Criminal History
  • Employment Issues
  • Substance Abuse
  • Violation of Court

33
Best Practice Approaches Risk Factors
  • Stalking
  • repeated physical following
  • unwanted contact (calling, texting, emailing,
    writing, etc)
  • observing a person's actions closely for an
    extended period of time
  • contacting family members, friends, or associates
    inappropriately

34
Best Practice Approaches Risk Factors
  • Stalking
  • Stalkers more likely to be violent if they had an
    intimate relationship with the victim
  • Stalking commonly occurs after relationship ends
  • Stalking and physical assault are strongly
    associated with murder and attempted murder

35
Best Practice Approaches Risk Factors
  • Cultural Issues and Sensitivities
  • dynamics may be connected with experiences of
    racism, discrimination, and colonialism
  • cultural stereotypes often lead to false
    assumptions and a lack of intervention
  • lack of translation services and immigration
    support services put women at greater risk

36
Best Practice Approaches Risk Factors
  • Leaving or Outside Intervention
  • escalated frequency and lethality
  • homicide
  • poverty
  • loss of ability to monitor moods and actions
  • abduction of children
  • loss of custody
  • abuse during childrens visitation
  • deportation
  • loss of translator, primary caregiver
  • unsafe proximity in small communities
  • violence against pets, livestock left behind

37
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment -
Primary Aggressor
  • Perpetrators routinely accuse partner of being
    equally abusive and claim to be the real
    victim.
  • There are women who are perpetrators, and there
    are women who use physical force against their
    partners in self defense.
  • Women are a small minority of perpetrators of
    serious violence against an intimate partner.

38
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment -
Primary Aggressor
  • The primary aggressor (abuser) means the person
    in the relationship who poses the greatest
    threat, rather than the most recent aggressor.

39
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment -
Primary Aggressor
  • Who is afraid of whom?
  • Who controls or makes decisions?
  • Who has the skills for effective assault?
  • Who controls financial and economic resources?
  • Who has suffered the most extensive damage?
  • Who has received treatment for injury?
  • Who has suffered the most impact (eg. fear)?
  • Documents such as police reports or court records
    can help in this determination.
  • Bragg, 2003
  • Child Protection Practices in Families
    Experiencing Domestic Violence

40
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment
  • Initial Assessment Process
  • abuser and/or his family using threats or
    actually contacting child protection as a tactic
    of control?
  • allegations of mutual aggression?
  • threats?
  • monitoring?
  • destruction of property?
  • weapons present?
  • nature of the most recent violence?

41
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment
  • If violence suspected ask
  • weapons present?
  • partner posing a risk?
  • custody proceedings?
  • police attendance at home?
  • forced to leave home?
  • threats?
  • protection order?

42
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment
  • If violence confirmed, ask
  • location of abuser?
  • most recent violence?
  • most dangerous violence?
  • reporter fearful of retribution?
  • abusers response to child protection visit?
  • safety plan?
  • violence outside of home?
  • weapons are present?
  • nature of his threats?
  • protection order?

43
Best Practice Approaches Risk Assessment
  • During each visit
  • weapons?
  • recent threats, nature?
  • monitoring? destroying property?
  • custody or other legal proceedings?
  • partner response to child protection involvement?
  • planned or existing protection order?
  • escalation in abuse, injuries? 
  • partner using alcohol or drugs?
  • partner unemployed?
  • referral to an anti-violence organization?

44
Best Practice Approaches Effective Child
Protection Interventions
  • guided by understanding of dynamics of abuse
  • carried out in collaboration with womens
    services to reflect a coordinated approach to
    this complex issue
  • transition house workers
  • stopping the violence counsellors
  • specialized victim assistance workers
  • multicultural support workers
  • Aboriginal/Métis family support workers

45
Best Practice Approaches Effective Child
Protection Interventions
  • many of the best practice approaches are already
    integrated into child protection practices
  • document and training developed specifically to
  • assist child protection workers with the complex
    issues surrounding cases of children and youth
    who are exposed to abuse of their mothers

46
Best Practice Approaches Voluntary Support
Services
  • May be opportunity to provide support services
  • Culturally sensitive, strength-based assessment
  • Referrals to existing appropriate support and
    services
  • Ensure aware of existing supportive resources
  • Safety plan, women- serving organizations

47
Best Practice Approaches Guiding Assessment
Concepts
  • The abuser should be held accountable for the
    violence, not the woman
  • Provide coordinated, culturally sensitive support
    services
  • Wherever possible, provide voluntary support
    services

48
Best Practice Approaches Guiding Assessment
Concepts
  • Separation or outside intervention often leads to
    escalation in frequency and lethality of violence
  • Most abusive people have the ability to control
    their behaviour - not anger management problem
  • Women fearful about the removal of their children
    usually not forthcoming to child protection
    worker

49
Best Practice Approaches Guiding Assessment
Concepts
  • If a determination is made that the children are
    at risk in their mothers care
  • provide mother respectful, integrated, and
    culturally sensitive services
  • recognize and support the mothers strengths and
    need for safety
  • Engage mothers to
  • determine and develop their own service plan
    goals
  • identify their needs for safety and support
  • identify their childrens needs for safety and
    support

50
Best Practice Approaches Ensure Coordination
  • Develop strong working relationships with allies
    in the anti-violence section within your
    community.
  • Community partners can be invaluable resources
    when developing safety plans and service plans
    with women.

51
Best Practice Approaches Ensure Coordination
  • Following are some key agencies and a list of the
    services they provide for women and their
    children.
  • See Handout 4.7 for complete details of services.

52
Best Practice Approaches Ensure Coordination
  • BC Association of Specialized Victim Assistance
    and Counselling Programs
  • www.endingviolence.org
  • provincial umbrella organization supporting the
    following specialized anti-violence programs
  • Community Based Victim Assistance Programs
  • Stopping the Violence Counselling Programs
  • Stopping the Violence Outreach Programs
  • Sexual Assault/Woman Assault Centres

53
Best Practice Approaches Ensure Coordination
  • B.C./Yukon Society of Transition Houses
    www.bcysth.ca
  • provincial non-profit association supporting the
    following services
  • Children Who Witness Abuse Programs
  • Transition Houses
  • Safe Homes
  • Second Stage Houses
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