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choices to use violent and controlling behavior.

b.When there is reason to believe that an abuser's behavior constitutes a crime or family offense that creates harm or a risk of harm to a child or children, child welfare workers should file a petition and/or complaint against the abuser with the appropriate court or law enforcement authorities.

Certain situations of domestic violence constitute crimes. Child endangerment charges, should be brought against the abuser whenever possible. When possible, initiating a complaint, having charges brought, and subsequent prosecution should not rely on the victim's testimony or cooperation. Rather, they should be a result of a comprehensive investigation and assessment by the worker and law enforcement.

Whether criminal charges are  brought against an abuser or not, child welfare workers should utilize the Family Court, as appropriate, to assist victims in obtaining orders of protection, custody, visitation, and/or child support.

3.SYSTEMS' RESPONSIBILITY

a.Child welfare workers should receive comprehensive and ongoing training on domestic violence, the connection between domestic violence and child abuse and neglect, the effects of domestic violence on children, and child safety-planning.

All child welfare workers should be trained on the issue of domestic violence. The training should include an understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence, assessment tools, appropriate interview and intervention skills, and an adequate understanding of domestic violence resources, as outlined in the  Guiding Principles,3.a.. In addition, child welfare workers should receive training on the connection between domestic violence and child abuse and neglect, the ways in which domestic violence can affect areas of family functioning included in the New York State Risk Assessment and Services Planning Model, the effects of domestic violence on children, and the many ways in which abusers can undermine investigations, assessments, safety planning, and overall service planning. Child welfare workers also need state-of-the-art information on safety strategies for child victims and information to enable them to make appropriate referrals.

b.Interagency protocols and agreements should be developed to handle domestic violence cases.

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