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NCJ Number: 220530 Find in a Library
Title: Domestic Violence: A Priority in Child Protection in New South Wales, Australia?
Journal: Child Abuse Review  Volume:16  Issue:5  Dated:September-October 2007  Pages:311-322
Author(s): Jude Irwin; Fran Waugh
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Research Council
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This research in New South Wales (Australia) examined child-protection practice on behalf of children and youth who have been exposed to domestic violence.
Abstract: The study found that even though child-protection services viewed domestic violence as a form of child abuse, such cases were considered by many workers as posing a less serious risk of harm to the child compared with other forms of abuse and neglect that target the child more directly. Despite the New South Wales Government's commitment to a coordinated and comprehensive response in protecting children/youth and their families, this was rarely evident in referrals based on domestic violence. When child protection agencies received referrals classified as domestic violence, the women and their children received inadequate or no risk assessments, limited referral and support, and sporadic or no followup. Apparently, domestic violence was not viewed by child-protection services agencies as a top-priority child protection issue. This study argues for a comprehensive response that views both the needs of the woman victim and her children as requiring appropriate responses that address their safety and other needs that stem from their exposure to violence. This research examined how the New South Wales Department of Community Services (the child protection statutory authority) responded to reports of child abuse, particularly those that involved domestic violence. Researchers at each of the five participating offices observed an intake worker and used a structured questionnaire in order to obtain information on each referral during the observation period. In addition, a sample of referrals was tracked over 18 months. This included all referrals in which domestic violence was the primary reason for referral, in addition to a similar number of other referrals. 1 figure and 25 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child emotional abuse and neglect; Child Protection; Child protection laws; Child protection services; Children of battered women; Domestic assault; Foreign criminal justice research; New South Wales
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