A few years ago, at the 1st National Safe and Together Symposium in New Orleans, David Mandel & Associates introduced the Continuum of Domestic Violence Practice to help identify the different stages of child welfare system practice in domestic violence cases. The Continuum ranged from “Domestic Violence Destructive” to “Domestic Violence Proficient.” This Continuum of Practice helped distinguish between problematic and positive behaviors in the child welfare system. By applying the perpetrator-pattern based approach to earlier work on culturally competent and trauma informed systems, we created a framework to help child welfare agencies and their community partners envision meaningful, systemic and systematic change around domestic violence policy and practice.
Now, we have updated, streamlined and clarified this framework in a new version that will be part of David Mandel’s upcoming book. This revised framework identifies five systemic stages for child welfare systems related to domestic violence. The stages are divided between domestic violence incompetent (Destructive, Neglectful) and domestic violence-informed (Competent, Proficient) with Pre-Competence separating out the two major areas. The purpose of the framework is to provide a method of self-evaluation and a road map for change for child welfare agencies and their partners such as courts, domestic violence advocates and others.
Below is a one page overview of the revised continuum which includes definitions, statements and potential outcomes associated with each stage.