Child protection and accountability for domestic violence - getting the balance right

Stream: Working For Accountability in Cross-Agency Responses
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Time: 1.00 pm – 2.45 pm


There is an historical tension between services providing support to women victims of domestic violence and child protection services where there is a concern for the danger to children resulting from domestic violence perpetrated by one parent or carer against another. The NSW Department of Family and Community Services conducted a cohort review which examined the deaths of 768 children who died between 2007 and 2012 and were known to FACS. Domestic violence was previously reported in 466 (61%) of the children’s families. This panel comprises a presentation of the findings of this review and the implications for practice by child protection caseworkers. Following this there will be an outline of the current strategies by FACS to develop child protection practice that aligns with the principles of increasing child safety by supporting the adult victim in their parenting role and increasing their safety, while at the same time holding the violent partner responsible for his violence and supporting him to make the changes that will keep children safe. The presentations will include case studies.


Donna Mapledoram (Presenter), NSW Department of Family and Community Services
Donna Mapledoram has been employed as an in-house solicitor for Community Services for over ten years and has worked in a number of different roles providing legal support, advice and representation to child protection practitioners. She has bachelor degrees in both Social Work and Law. More recently Donna has taken on the role of Assistant Director, Child Deaths and Critical Reports unit within Family and Community Services. In this role she manages individual and cohort reviews and is passionate about delivering the findings from review work to frontline practitioners to support practice improvement and organisational learning.