“Getting Everyone on the Same Page”: Child Welfare Workers’ Collaboration Challenges on Cases Involving Intimate Partner Violence
Child welfare professionals frequently serve families experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). As such, collaboration with other types of providers as part of a larger network of IPV responders is often necessary, though can be challenging for various reasons. The present study explores child welfare workers’ perspectives on collaboration challenges specific to child welfare cases that also involve IPV. Data were drawn from the fourth wave of the Florida Study of Professionals for Safe Families, a longitudinal study of child welfare workforce retention. Authors explored qualitative short responses of 493 child welfare workers with active caseloads who reported ever working on cases with IPV. Participants cited communication, complexity of IPV cases, participation in the collaborative process, and competence as the most challenging aspects of IPV case collaboration. Tensions between child welfare agencies and victim advocacy services were noted throughout. Findings suggest opportunities for sustained engagement to facilitate understanding of responder roles and responsibilities may alleviate some collaboration challenges corroborated by previous research. However, local needs assessments inclusive of all responder roles would better identify community-specific challenges, leading to more tailored intervention strategies to improve responder collaborations.
KeywordsChild welfare Intimate partner violence Domestic violence Collaboration Interagency work
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