Advertisement

A Good Call?: Contextual Factors Influencing Mandated Reporting in Domestic Violence Programs

  • Melanie L. CarlsonEmail author
  • Erik Wittrup
  • Carrie A. Moylan
  • Daniel Vélez Ortiz
Original Article

Abstract

Domestic violence shelter advocates closely guard the confidentiality of survivors in their shelter programs, yet they are simultaneously mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. The mandate to report child abuse and neglect may include a child’s exposure to domestic violence, which may be disclosed when assessing danger for program entry. The purpose of this study is to understand what decision making factors influence domestic violence shelter advocates’ decision to override survivor’s confidentiality and report child abuse and neglect. A survey of 142 domestic violence shelter advocates found that advocates that holistically consider the impact of reporting are less inclined to report child abuse and neglect. At the same time, advocates who perceive that their agency has a better relationship with child protective services are more inclined to report child abuse and neglect. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to research, policy and practice.

Keywords

Domestic violence Advocacy Ethics Mandated reporting Child abuse and neglect Shelters 

Notes

References

  1. Allen, N. E., Larsen, S., Trotter, J., & Sullivan, C. M. (2013). Exploring the core service delivery processes of an evidence-based community advocacy program for women with abusive partners. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(1), 1–18.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.21502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baumann, D. J., Dalgleish, L., Fluke, J., & Kern, H. (2011). The decision-making ecology. Washington, D.C: American humane association.Google Scholar
  3. Baumann, D. J., Fluke, J., Graham, J. C., Wittenstrom, K., Hedderson, J., et al. (2010). Disproportionality in child protective services: The preliminary results of statewide reform efforts. Austin: Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.Google Scholar
  4. Britner, P. A., & Mossler, D. G. (2002). Professionals’ decision-making about out-of-home placements following instances of child abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 26(4), 317–332.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0145-2134(02)00311-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Campbell, K. A., Olson, L. M., Keenan, H. T., & Morrow, S. L. (2017). What happened next: Interviews with mothers after a finding of child maltreatment in the household. Qualitative Health Research, 27(2), 155–169.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732315625197.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Cattaneo, L. B., & Chapman, A. R. (2010). The process of empowerment: A model for use in research and practice. American Psychologist, 65, 646–659.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018854.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, M., & Chan, K. L. (2016). Effects of parenting programs on child maltreatment prevention: A meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 17, 88–104.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838014566718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cossar, J., Brandon, M., & Jordan, P. (2016). ‘You've got to trust her and she's got to trust you’: Children's views on participation in the child protection system. Child & Family Social Work, 21(1), 103–112.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Costa, A. C., Fulmer, C. A., & Anderson, N. R. (2018). Trust in work teams: An integrative review, multilevel model, and future directions. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(2), 169–184.  https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coulter, M. L., & Mercado-Crespo, M. (2015). Co-occurrence of intimate partner violence and child maltreatment: Service providers' perceptions. Journal of Family Violence, 30, 255–262.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-014-9667-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dettlaff, A. J., Graham, J. C., Holzman, J., Baumann, D. J., & Fluke, J. D. (2015). Development of an instrument to understand the child protective services decision-making process, with a focus on placement decisions. Child Abuse and Neglect, 49, 24–34.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.04.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Douglas, H., & Walsh, T. (2010). Mothers, domestic violence, and child protection. Violence Against Women, 16(5), 489–508.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801210365887.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Dutton, D. G., & Kropp, P. R. (2000). A review of domestic violence risk instruments. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 1(2), 171–181.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838000001002004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Edleson, J. L. (2004). Should childhood exposure to adult domestic violence be defined as child maltreatment under the law? In P. G. Jaffe, L. L. Baker, & A. Cunningham (Eds.), Protecting children from domestic violence: Strategies for community intervention (pp. 8–29). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  15. Feng, J. Y., Chen, Y. W., Fetzer, S., Feng, M. C., & Lin, C. L. (2012). Ethical and legal challenges of mandated child abuse reporters. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(1), 276–280.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.10.026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fisher, E. M., & Stylianou, A. (2016). To stay or to leave: Factors influencing victims’ decisions to stay or leave a domestic violence emergency shelter. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260516645816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fluke, J. D., Baumann, D. J., Dalgleish, L. I., & Kern, H. D. (2014). Decisions to protect children: A decision making ecology. In J. Korbin & R. Krugman (Eds.), Handbook of Child Maltreatment. Child Maltreatment (contemporary issues in research and policy) (Vol. 2). Dordrecht: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fusco, R. A. (2013). “It’s hard enough to deal with all the abuse issues”: Child welfare workers’ experiences with intimate partner violence on their caseloads. Children and Youth Services, 35, 1946–1953.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.09.020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glenn, K., & Goodman, L. (2015). Living with and within the rules of domestic violence shelters: A qualitative exploration of residents’ experiences. Affilia, 21, 1481–1506.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801215596242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goodman, L. A., Fauci, J. E., Hailes, H. P., & Gonzalez, L. (2019). Power with and power over: How domestic violence advocates manage their roles as mandated reporters. Journal of Family Violence. Advance online publication, 1–15.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-019-00040-8.
  21. Graham, J. C., Dettlaff, A. J., Baumann, D. J., & Fluke, J. D. (2015). The decision making ecology of placing a child in foster care: A structural equation model. Child Abuse & Neglect, 49, 12–23.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.02.020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grossman, S. F., & Lundy, M. (2011). Characteristics of women who do and do not receive onsite shelter services from domestic violence programs. Violence Against Women, 17, 1024–1045.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801211414169.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Hafemeister, T. L. (2011). If all you have is a hammer: Society's ineffective response to intimate partner violence. Catholic University Law Review, 60, 919. Retrieved from https://scholarship.law.edu/lawreview/vol60/iss4/3
  24. Haj-Yahia, M. M., & Cohen, H. C. (2009). On the lived experience of battered women residing in shelters. Journal of Family Violence, 24, 95–109.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-008-9214-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hamby, S. L., Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., & Ormrod, R. (2011). Children's exposure to intimate partner violence and other family violence. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2180-11-204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Herrenkohl, T. I., Sousa, C., Tajima, E. A., Herrenkohl, R. C., & Moylan, C. A. (2008). Intersection of child abuse and children's exposure to domestic violence. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 9(2), 84–99.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838008314797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Heward-Belle, S. (2017). Exploiting the ‘good mother’ as a tactic of coercive control: Domestically violent men’s assaults on women as mothers. Affilia, 32, 374–389.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109917706935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ho, G. W. K., Gross, D. A., & Bettencourt, A. (2017). Universal mandatory reporting policies and the odds of identifying child physical abuse. American Journal of Public Health, 107, 709–716.  https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303667.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Houston, C. (2014). How feminist theory became (criminal) law: Tracing the path to mandatory criminal intervention in domestic violence cases. Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, 21(2), 217–272. Retrieved from https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol21/iss2/1/
  30. Hughes, J. (2017). Women’s advocates and shelter residents: Describing experiences of working and living in domestic violence shelters. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260517707307.
  31. Jouriles, E. N., McDonald, R., Slep, A. M. S., Heyman, R. E., & Garrido, E. (2008). Child abuse in the context of domestic violence: Prevalence, explanations, and practice implications. Violence and Victims, 23, 221–235.  https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.23.2.221.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Kahn, J. H. (2011). Multilevel modeling: Overview and applications to research in counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58, 257–271.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022680.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Kesner, J. (2008). Child protection in the United States: An examination of mandated reporting of child maltreatment. Child Indicators Research, 1, 397–410.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-008-9019-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. King, B., Lawson, J., & Putnam-Hornstein, E. (2013). Examining the evidence: Reporter identity, allegation type, and sociodemographic characteristics as predictors of maltreatment substantiation. Child Maltreatment, 18(4), 232–244.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559513508001.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Krane, J., & Davies, L. (2007). Mothering under difficult circumstances: Challenges to working with battered women. Affilia, 22, 23–38.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109906295758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Langenderfer-Magruder, L., Alven, L., Wilke, D. J., & Spinelli, C. (2018). "Getting everyone on the same page": Child welfare workers' collaboration challenges on cases involving intimate partner violence. Journal of Family Violence. Advance online publication, 34, 21–31.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-018-0002-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lau, K. J., Krase, K. S., & Morse, R. (2008). Mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect: A practical guide for social workers. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  38. MacMillan, H. L., & Wathen, C. N. (2014). Children’s exposure to intimate partner violence. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 23, 295–308.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chc.2013.12.008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Malik, N. M., Ward, K., & Janczewski, C. (2008). Coordinated community response to family violence: The role of domestic violence service organizations. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23, 933–955.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260508315121.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. McTavish, J. R., MacGregor, J. C. D., Wathen, C. N., & MacMillan, H. L. (2016). Children’s exposure to intimate partner violence: An overview. International Review of Psychiatry, 28, 504–518.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09540261.2016.1205001.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. McTavish, J. R., Kimber, M., Devries, K., Colombini, M., MacGregor, J. C. D., Wathen, C. N., & MacMillan, H. L. (2017). Mandated reporters’ experiences with reporting child maltreatment: A meta-synthesis of qualitative studies. BMJ Open, 7, e013942.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013942.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  42. Mennicke, A., Langenderfer-Magruder, L., & MacConnie, L. (2018). “It’s tricky…”: Intimate partner violence service providers’ perspectives of assessments and referrals by child welfare workers. Journal of Family Violence, 34(1), 47–54.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-018-9991-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Monahan, T. (2017). Regulating belonging: Surveillance, inequality, and the cultural production of abjection. Journal of Cultural Economy, 10(2), 191–206.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2016.1273843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Moylan, C. A., Herrenkohl, T. I., Sousa, C., Tajima, E. A., Herrenkohl, R. C., & Russo, M. J. (2010). The effects of child abuse and exposure to domestic violence on adolescent internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Journal of Family Violence, 25, 53–63.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-009-9269-9.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. Murray, C., Crowe, A., & Flasch, P. (2015). Turning points: Incidents prompting survivors to begin the process of terminating abusive relationships. The Family Journal, 23(3), 228–238.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480715573705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. National Network to End Domestic Violence (2017). National census of domestic services. Retrieved from https://nnedv.org/resources/?mdocs-cat=mdocs-cat-34&att=null#content
  47. Nnawulezi, N., Godsay, S., Sullivan, C. M., Marcus, S., & Hacskaylo, M. (2018). The influence of low-barrier and voluntary service policies on survivor empowerment in a domestic violence housing organization. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nwabuzor Ogbonnaya, I., & Kohl, P. L. (2018). Profiles of child-welfare-involved caregivers identified by caseworkers as having a domestic violence problem: Then and now. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(18), 2802–2825.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260516632352.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Peckover, S., & Golding, B. (2017). Domestic abuse and safeguarding children: Critical issues for multiagency work. Child Abuse Review, 26, 40–50.  https://doi.org/10.1002/car.2392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pinkney, S. (2018). Trust in relations between children and social welfare professionals. 167-192. In New directions in child welfare (pp. 167–192). London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Postmus, J. L., Hoge, G. L., Breckenridge, J., Sharp-Jeffs, N., & Chung, D. (2018). Economic abuse as an invisible form of domestic violence: A multicountry review. Trauma, Violence & Abuse. Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838018764160.
  52. Qualtrics (2018). Retrieved April 27, 2018 from https://www.qualtrics.com/, DOI: 10.1093/neuonc/noy156
  53. Remler, D. K., & Van Ryzin, G. G. (2015). Research methods in practice: Strategies for description and causation (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  54. Sankaran, V. S., & Church, C., (2016). Easy come, easy go: The plight of children who spend less than thirty days in foster care. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, 19(3), 207–237. Retrieved from https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/jlasc/vol19/iss3/2
  55. Steen, J. A. (2008). Attitudes of domestic violence shelter workers toward mandated reporter laws: A study of policy support and policy impact. Journal of Policy Practice, 8, 21–33.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15588740802282367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Steen, J. A. (2009). The perceived impact of a child maltreatment report from the perspective of the domestic violence shelter worker. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24, 1906–1918.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260508325495.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Stewart, S. L. (2014). Learning domestic violence interagency work: Enacting "practice multiple". Journal of Workplace Learning, 26, 432–443.  https://doi.org/10.1108/JWL-10-2013-0089.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sullivan, C. M. (2018). Understanding how domestic violence support services promote survivor well-being: A conceptual model. Journal of Family Violence, 33, 123–131.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-017-9931-6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Sullivan, C. M., & Olsen, L. (2016). Common ground, complementary approaches: Adapting the housing first model for domestic violence survivors. Housing and Society, 43(3), 182–194.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08882746.2017.1323305.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Toros, K., DiNitto, D. M., & Tiko, A. (2018). Family engagement in the child welfare system: A scoping review. Children and Youth Services Review, 88, 598–607.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.03.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tufford, L., Mishna, F., & Black, T. (2010). Mandatory reporting and child exposure to domestic violence: Issues regarding the therapeutic alliance with couples. Clinical Social Work Journal, 38(4), 426–434.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-009-0234-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2019). Definitions of child abuse and neglect in federal law. Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can/defining/federal/, DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3310/phr07180 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wall-Wieler, E., Roos, L. L., Bolton, J., Brownell, M., Nickel, N. C., & Chateau, D. (2017). Maternal health and social outcomes after having a child taken into care: Population-based longitudinal cohort study using linkable administrative data. Journal of Epidemiological & Community Health, 71, 1145–1151.  https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2017-209542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Xie, M., & Lynch, J. P. (2017). The effects of arrest, reporting to the police, and victim services on intimate partner violence. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 54, 338–378.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022427816678035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zannettino, L., & McLaren, H. (2014). Domestic violence and child protection: Towards a collaborative approach across the two service sectors. Child & Family Social Work, 19, 421–431.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations