Special Topic Report on Domestic Violence in Families Served by Child Welfare Services in the State of California

Child welfare services (CWS) is one system in California with the capacity to routinely screen and assess for domestic violence. As a result, the California Leadership Group on Domestic Violence and Child Well-being (Leadership Group) sought this statewide analysis of the data collected by the screening and assessment tools used most widely by CWS agencies in the state: the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) system. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) shared this interest and supported completion of this special topic report.

Through this analysis, the Leadership Group and CDSS hope to advance understanding of families and children in the CWS caseload who experience domestic violence in order to strengthen responses that will enable families and children to achieve safety and heal, as well as to prevent such violence in the future.