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Rethinking Protection: Alternatives to Mandatory Reporting for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Their Children


Wendy Mota, MS
Futures Without Violence
Shellie Taggart
Futures Without Violence
Bridges to Better Resource


April 15, 2024


Pathways to Healing and Protective Factors
Mandatory Reporting
Implementation Guidance and Tools

Many survivors of domestic violence (DV) report that they feel judged, blamed, and unsupported by caseworkers within child welfare, and that their abusive partners are not held accountable for the harm they cause to children. In multiple states, children’s exposure to DV is routinely reported to a child welfare agency, whether or not it is specified as a required report in state statutes. At the same time, some mandated reporters feel constrained by this practice and seek to understand how they can provide better help to survivors and their children. In this brief, authors share concrete strategies for building Protective Factors for Survivors that help to lessen the impacts of violence, and promote healing and well-being, as an alternative to automatically filing reports of child neglect in these situations.