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Policy Manual

Conducting the Investigation

Domestic Violence Assessment

Policy During an investigation if there are indications of domestic violence, the investigator shall complete the DCF-2141, "Domestic Violence Assessment."

The assessment requires asking specific questions of the victim (usually the mother/wife), each child, and the alleged offender.

Important Note: Where domestic violence is suspected, care must be taken to interview the alleged victims away from the alleged offender.

Definition Domestic Violence is the use, or threat of physical or psychological harm inflicted by any household member, partner or former partner, with the effect of establishing control by one individual over another. It may occur along a continuum of severity and may include bodily injury or assault, sexual abuse, economic oppression, isolation or intimidation.
Indicators of Domestic Violence Indicators of domestic violence include the following:
  • A household member, partner or former partner has threatened to, or has physically or psychologically abused the spouse, partner, children or other household members including pets
  • has used or threatened to use a weapon
  • has evidenced depression, is paranoid or obsessed with the victim.

In combination with the above, the victim

  • is afraid for his/her safety or that of the children
  • previously lived with or had a relationship with someone who was violent
  • is considering separation
  • is pregnant.
Determine Overall Risk The investigator’s primary responsibility is to determine the overall risk to the children and to take appropriate action based on the DCF-2090, "Risk Assessment" and the DCF-2141, "Domestic Violence Assessment."

Note: If the parent/caretaker refuses services and there is an immediate danger to the children, removal of the children must be considered.

Worker Safety If there are indicators of domestic violence, the investigator shall consult with his/her supervisor and the Regional Resource Group to develop a safety plan which includes the following:
  • have a co-worker accompany the investigator
  • always be aware of "triggers" that may cause an individual to respond in a violent way
  • whenever possible, meet with the abuser in the office if there is a high level of risk.

See the Worker’s Safety Plan in the Domestic Violence Assessment.

Additional Information Cross-Reference: For additional information concerning the subject of domestic violence, see Chapter 36, Child Protective Assessment and Services.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families                                   Effective Date: October 1, 1996 (Revised)