“Kids are in the middle of it” – Child protection practitioners reflect on indicators of coercive control and situational couple violence

Journal article


Marwitz, U., Higgins, Daryl John and Whelan, Thomas Anthony. (2024). “Kids are in the middle of it” – Child protection practitioners reflect on indicators of coercive control and situational couple violence. Children and Youth Services Review. 160, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2024.107596
AuthorsMarwitz, U., Higgins, Daryl John and Whelan, Thomas Anthony
Abstract

How relevant is differentiating between coercive control and situational couple violence in statutory child protection practice with families experiencing domestic and family violence?

In this small scale self-selected qualitative study we interviewed six Australian child protection practitioners and asked them to consider four fictional vignettes, two containing indicators of high levels of coercive control and two containing indicators of situational couple violence. We asked participants to reflect on whether the vignettes represented the kind of situations they encounter in practice and how they would be likely to respond.

Participants indicated that both coercive control and situational couple violence were common in their practice and that each of these violence types presented challenges. They highlighted a range of priorities and challenges for meeting the needs of children in families experiencing violence who come to the attention of statutory child protection authorities. Further, they noted the need to acknowledge the impact on children and young people when neither parent or caregiver can parent in a non-violent and safe manner.

Child protection practice frameworks should address the risk of harm to children and young people posed by situational couple violence, and not just coercive control.

KeywordsChild protection; Domestic violence; Family violence; Coercive control; Situational couple violence
Year01 Jan 2024
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Journal citation160, pp. 1-10
PublisherElsevier Ltd. (UK)
ISSN0190-7409
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2024.107596
Scopus EID1-s2.0-S0190740924001683
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740924001683
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-10
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online18 Apr 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted10 Apr 2024
Deposited20 May 2024
Additional information

© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.

This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ).

Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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Scott, Debbie, Lonne, Bob and Higgins, Daryl. (2016). Public health models for preventing child maltreatment: Applications from the field of injury prevention. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse. 17(4), pp. 408 - 419. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838016658877
Maternal crying and postpartum distress: the moderating role of partner support
Pilkington, Pamela Doreen, Whelan, Thomas Anthony and Milne, Lisa Clare. (2016). Maternal crying and postpartum distress: the moderating role of partner support. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. 34(1), pp. 64 - 76. https://doi.org/10.1080/02646838.2015.1067884
How can child welfare and youth-serving organisations keep children safe?
Higgins, Daryl J., Kaufman, Keith and Erooga, Marcus. (2016). How can child welfare and youth-serving organisations keep children safe? Developing Practice.
Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse
Quadara, Antonia, Nagy, Vicky, Higgins, Daryl and Siegel, Natalie. (2015). Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse Australia: Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Government.
Modifiable partner factors associated with perinatal depression and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Pilkington, Pamela Doreen, Milne, Lisa Clare, Cairns, Kathryn E., Lewis, James and Whelan, Thomas Anthony. (2015). Modifiable partner factors associated with perinatal depression and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders. 178, pp. 165 - 180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.02.023
Modifiable partner factors associated with perinatal depression and anxiety : A systematic review and meta-analysis
Pilkington, Pamela, Milne, Lisa, Cairns, Kathryn, Lewis, James and Whelan, Thomas. (2015). Modifiable partner factors associated with perinatal depression and anxiety : A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders (Print). 178, pp. 165 - 180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.02.023
A review of partner-inclusive interventions for preventing postnatal depression and anxiety
Pilkington, Pamela D., Whelan, Thomas A. and Milne, Lisa C.. (2015). A review of partner-inclusive interventions for preventing postnatal depression and anxiety. Clinical Psychologist. 19(2), pp. 63 - 75. https://doi.org/10.1111/cp.12054
A public health approach to enhancing safe and supportive family environments for children
Higgins, Daryl J.. (2015). A public health approach to enhancing safe and supportive family environments for children. Family Matters. 96, pp. 39 - 52.
Effects of infant and maternal sensory processing on infant fussing, crying, and sleep
McGeorge, Kate, Milne, Lisa, Cotton, Louise and Whelan, Thomas. (2015). Effects of infant and maternal sensory processing on infant fussing, crying, and sleep. Infant Mental Health Journal. 36(3), pp. 275 - 286. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmhj
The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) study: Phase 2
Edwards, Ben, Mullan, Killian, Katz, Lian and Higgins, Daryl. (2014). The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) study: Phase 2 Australia: Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Government.
Complex family issues: Collective awareness, common narratives and coordinated approaches to promoting resilience
Hayes, Alan and Higgins, Daryl. (2014). Complex family issues: Collective awareness, common narratives and coordinated approaches to promoting resilience. In In A. Hayes and D. Higgins (Ed.). Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia pp. 299 - 303 Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Government.
The mediating influence of hope on multidimensional perfectionism and depression
Mathew, Jaya, Dunning, Claire, Coats, Charlotte and Whelan, Thomas Anthony. (2014). The mediating influence of hope on multidimensional perfectionism and depression. Personality and Individual Differences. 70, pp. 66 - 71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.06.008
Weaving a common narrative: An introduction to essays on families, policy and the law in Australia
Hayes, Alan and Higgins, Daryl. (2014). Weaving a common narrative: An introduction to essays on families, policy and the law in Australia. In Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia pp. 1 - 4 Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Government.
Past adoption practices: Implications for current interventions
Higgins, Daryl. (2014). Past adoption practices: Implications for current interventions. 36(4), pp. 8 - 11.
Contemporary issues in child protection intake, referral and family support
Bromfield, Leah, Arney, Fiona and Higgins, Daryl. (2014). Contemporary issues in child protection intake, referral and family support. In In A. Hayes and D. Higgins (Ed.). Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia pp. 121 - 129 Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Government.
Reform, (r)evolution and lingering Effects: Family policies in Australia
Higgins, Daryl J.. (2014). Reform, (r)evolution and lingering Effects: Family policies in Australia. In In M. Robila (Ed.). Handbook of family policies across the globe pp. 335 - 353 Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6771-7_22
Past adoption practices: Key messages for service delivery responses and current policies
Kenny, Pauline and Higgins, Daryl. (2014). Past adoption practices: Key messages for service delivery responses and current policies. In In A. Hayes and D. Higgins (Ed.). Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia pp. 29 - 38 Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australian Government.
Multi-type maltreatment and polyvictimisation: A comparison of two research frameworks
Price-Robertson, Rhys, Higgins, Daryl J. and Vassallo, Suzanne. (2013). Multi-type maltreatment and polyvictimisation: A comparison of two research frameworks. Family Matters. 93, pp. 84 - 98.
Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice
Kenny, Pauline, Higgins, Daryl, Sweid, Reem and Soloff, Carol. (2013). Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice. Children and Families Australia. 7(1), pp. 35 - 46.
Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice
Kenny, Pauline, Higgins, Daryl, Sweid, Reem and Soloff, Carol. (2013). Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice. Communities, Children and Families. 7(1), pp. 35 - 46.
Families make all the difference: Helping kids to grow and learn
Baxter, Jennifer, Higgins, Daryl J. and Hayes, Alan. (2012). Families make all the difference: Helping kids to grow and learn. Family Matters. 90, pp. 98 - 105.
Child abuse and neglect in Australia's Northern Territory: The Northern Territory Emergency Response
Higgins, Daryl and Scott, Debbie. (2012). Child abuse and neglect in Australia's Northern Territory: The Northern Territory Emergency Response. In In H. Dubowitz (Ed.). World perspectives on child abuse pp. 69 - 75 International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development
Stankov, Lazar, Higgins, D., Saucier, Gerard and Knezevic, Goran. (2012). Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development. In In G. J. Boyle, Donald H. Saklofske and G. Matthews (Ed.). Psychological Assessment pp. 41 - 67 SAGE Publications Inc..
Protecting children: Evolving systems
Higgins, Daryl. (2011). Protecting children: Evolving systems. Family Matters.
Adversarial growth in telephone counsellors :Psychological and environmental influences
O'Sullivan, Julian and Whelan, Thomas. (2011). Adversarial growth in telephone counsellors :Psychological and environmental influences. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling. 39(4), pp. 307 - 323. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2011.567326
Unfit mothers... Unjust practices?: Key issues from Australian research on the impact of past adoption practices
Higgins, Daryl J.. (2011). Unfit mothers... Unjust practices?: Key issues from Australian research on the impact of past adoption practices. Family Matters. 87(1), pp. 56 - 67.
Posttraumatic Growth in International Study: The Case of Chinese in Australia
Whelan, Thomas Anthony and Cunningham, Winifred. (2010). Posttraumatic Growth in International Study: The Case of Chinese in Australia. In In T. Weiss and R. Berger (Ed.). pp. 173 - 187 John Wiley & Sons.
Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development
Stankov, Lazar, Higgins, D., Saucier, G. and Kneszevic, G. (2010). Contemporary militant extremism: A linguistic approach to scale development. Psychological Assessment. 22(2), pp. 246 - 258. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017372
The relationship between grandparent satisfaction, meaning, and generativity
Thiele, Diane M. and Whelan, Thomas Anthony. (2008). The relationship between grandparent satisfaction, meaning, and generativity. International Journal of Aging and Human Development. 66(1), pp. 21 - 48. https://doi.org/10.2190/AG.66.1.b