The Child Protection Response to Domestic Violence and Abuse: a Scoping Review of Interagency Interventions, Models and Collaboration



Hale H, Bracewell K, Bellussi L, Jenkins R, Alexander J, Devaney J & Callaghan JEM (2024) The Child Protection Response to Domestic Violence and Abuse: a Scoping Review of Interagency Interventions, Models and Collaboration. Journal of Family Violence.

Purpose There is a growing acknowledgement that children are direct victims of domestic violence and abuse, and require support and protection in their own right. However, professional interventions designed to protect children may unintentionally further victimise parents, most often mothers. In response, a number of new interagency approaches have been developed. Method Updating a previous review by Macvean et al. (Australian Social Work, 71(2), 148–161, 2018), we report the findings of a scoping review of models of interagency working between child protection and either domestic abuse services or family law services, or all three services, to improve understanding of practices that may facilitate collaboration between child protection and other agencies in the context of domestic violence and abuse. We also consider the effectiveness of such approaches in improving the safety of child and adult victims. Results A systematic search of all sources identified 4103 documents that were screened for inclusion. The outcome of this screening was the identification of thirteen papers or reports dated between 2018 and 2022 that comprised an evaluation of six models of interagency interventions. Nine publications originated in Australia, three in the UK and one in the USA. The most referenced model was Safe & Together, primarily due to the number of publications from the same research team in Australia. None of the included studies reported the outcomes or impact for children and families. Conclusions While there are a growing number of promising approaches identified, there is little evidence of effectiveness, or the views of child and adult family members about the acceptability and utility of such approaches.

Domestic abuse; Intimate partner violence; Scoping review; Interagency collaboration; Child protection; Multiagency working

Journal of Family Violence

StatusIn Press
Publication date online28/02/2024
Date accepted by journal05/01/2024
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

People (2)


Professor Jane Callaghan

Professor Jane Callaghan

Director Child Wellbeing & Protection, Social Work

Dr Hannah Hale

Dr Hannah Hale

Research Fellow, NMAHP