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© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) & Child Welfare Module One Johnna L. Pike, JD Doctoral Student School of Sociology School of Law University at Buffalo
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation How is IPV defined theoretically? = No definitively excepted definition of IPV. = Definitions are largely influenced by the theoretical perspective one holds. = Majority of theoretical definitions incorporate: = patterns of abusive behavior = notions of controlling behavior = presence of IPV regardless of race, class, education, culture, religion....
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation How is IPV defined legally? = Legally there is no crime called IPV: = IPV crimes refer to any crime that occurs between partners. = For procedural purposes, there are certain crimes in the State of New York that are considered family offenses both in criminal law and in family law.
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Characteristics of IPV Impacting Children Type of violence - physical v. psychological, minor v. severe, common v. patriarchal Nature of specific acts - hits with objects, threats, use of weapons Presence of injuries or not Timing - frequency of violence, duration of violence, time since last assault Escalation - extent to which violent episodes escalate
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Characteristics of IPV Impacting Children Type of Perpetrator - family member, nonrelative, antisocial Perpetrator's relation to child - biological parent, stepparent, live-in partner, transient partner Victim's role in the assault - passive or attempts to defend self Resolution - apology, submission, continued fighting (Holden, 2003)
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation What are the Risks to Children when IPV is Present? = Child Maltreatment: = Child Abuse = Child Neglect = Exposure to Violence Against Non-Offending Parent = Separation Violence = Child Abduction
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation What is Child Maltreatment? General term applied to all forms of child abuse and neglect. Federal government defines as "the physical and mental injury, sexual abuse, negligent treatment, or maltreatment of a child under the age of 18 by a person who is responsible for the child's welfare under circumstances which indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or threatened." (CAPTA)
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation IPV and Child Maltreatment = Historically regarded as two separate issues: = Result has been a lack of coordination between the two systems servicing these victims = IPV however may be the single most important context for child maltreatment: = Coordination between systems is essential to promote the safety of all family members.
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Presence of IPV in Child Welfare Cases = IPV is pervasive in child welfare caseloads: = MA Department of Social Services study found... = Co-occurrence of child maltreatment and adult IPV in 30% of its open caseload (1989) = Co-occurrence in 48% of its cases (1994) = NYS study found that IPV was a factor in all foster care placements = IPV was also present in 70% of households in which a child homicide occurred.
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation The Need to Identify IPV in Child Welfare Cases = Lack of proper and timely identification, assessment and intervention of IPV: = may compromise successful outcomes for the adult victim's safety and thus... = may compromise successful outcomes for child's safety and stability
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Barriers to Effective Assessment & Intervention = A lack of coordination between child welfare and IPV service systems = Differing perspectives, approaches, terminologies and mandates = Laws addressing IPV and child welfare have evolved from these differing orientations = Conflict made evident by recent legal cases as to whether exposure to IPV equates to child maltreatment
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Is Exposure to IPV a form of Child Maltreatment? = Maltreatment is a social judgment regarding what is a minimal care of standard. = State is to act in the "Best Interests of the Child" but standard has an underlying notion of two fit biological parents = Failure to Protect Statutes create parental liability where a child experiences actual harm or substantially likely to experience harm. = Question of harm? Who is the perpetrator of the harm? How best can the child be protected from harm?
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Orientation of Child Welfare v. IPV Organizations " Authorized to act in the Best Interests of the Children & Protect them from harm " Determining who can keep the children safe " Neutrality toward both parents " Reporting & Investigation " Family Systems Approach " Violence is a symptom of dysfunction " Safety of Adult Victim " Identify primary caregiver and predominant aggressor " Empowering and Supporting Adult Victim " Feminist Perspective " Violence is a consequence of a social system prioritizing patriarchal norms and oppressing women
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Theoretical Perspectives = The Family Systems approach focuses on the structure and relationship within a family that perpetuates and condones violence. = Goal is to address individual, familial or social pathology = The Feminist Perspective focuses on the ways that social institutions and traditions have supported violence throughout society. = Aim is to address economic problems, laws and social customs endorsing use of violence against women.
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Conflicting Concerns Child Welfare Advocates express concern that IPV organizations discount the safety needs of children. IPV Advocates express concern that Child Welfare agencies revictimizes the battered parent through punitive assessments and interventions.
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Child Welfare Advocates = Workers' focus may shift toward the non-offending parent when: = unconvinced attention on the batterer will truly keep the children safe = view the ultimate responsibility of protecting the children rests with the primary caregivers = concern that primary caregiver will not be able to protect the children when she is unable to protect self = A belief that there are no alternatives, worker may resort to labeling the battered parent as failing to protect due to the exposure to IPV.
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation IPV Advocates = Argue that focus must be on batterer's accountability because: = protecting the battered parent is inextricably linked to protecting the children = it is the batterer's behavior, not the non-offending parent, which is placing children's safety at risk = focusing on the non-offending parent is harmful to both the parent and children
© 2005 CDHS College Relations Group Buffalo State College/SUNY at Buffalo Research Foundation Shared Objectives = Members of both systems desire to stop the violence in the family = Both want to eliminate the risk of harm and to promote safety = Both systems want to prevent future violence
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