Collaboration Between Child Protection and Domestic and Family Violence: A Case File Review

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Collaboration across child protection and domestic and family violence sectors has been identified as central to responding to complexities experienced by families within these practice fields. However, there is little research that explores how collaboration happens and what outcomes are produced. This paper reports on a study that reviewed 21 case files between 2015 and 2019 to identify the indicators of collaboration when domestic and family violence are present along with child protection concerns, and what activities and processes enable collaborative practice at these intersections. The study found that collaboration is visible in case files through activities such as information sharing, referral, planning, and case conferencing. However, analysis of case notes and discussions with practitioners revealed that these indicators do not necessarily lead to collaboration consistently. The implication for practice is that effective collaboration is fundamentally relational. It is through relationship building between agencies, practitioners, and families that collaboration is enacted. IMPLICATIONS Collaboration between child protection and domestic and family violence practitioners can be identified through indictors such as information sharing, referral, shared case planning, and shared case conferencing. The democratising of practice can be seen most clearly at case conferences where information is shared for decision making to support victims of domestic and family violence. Collaboration becomes compromised when information is shared without purposeful and meaningful linkages between agencies, or without the goals of responsive service pathways for women and children and a common risk assessment of the perpetrator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-202
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Collaboration
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Violence
  • Case Files
  • Social Work
  • Networking
  • Shared Case Conferencing
  • Cross-practice Sharing
  • Child Protection
  • Information Sharing


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