Intimate partner violence (IPV) negatively affects children. Although IPV-related reports frequently come to the attention of child protective services (CPS), there is neither a unified standard for how CPS systems should respond, nor sufficient research documenting that reaction. The current study used population-based administrative records from California to assess how CPS responds to reported allegations of IPV, with and without physical abuse and/or neglect allegations. We used multinomial regression to model the likelihood of investigation outcomes. Results indicate that 20.7% of CPS reports had IPV alleged during hotline screening, and of those, just 3.2% were screened out compared to 20.2% for reports where IPV was not alleged. Almost half (45.5%) of IPV-alleged reports came from law enforcement, in contrast to 15.2% of reports that did not allege IPV. IPV-alleged reports were more likely to have allegations substantiated without a case opened for services, but less likely to result in foster care placements. Several statistically significant differences were identified by the type of alleged maltreatment co-reported with IPV. This study contributes to an understanding of how CPS responds to IPV-alleged reports.
Keywords: CPS; child maltreatment; domestic/intimate partner violence; foster care; investigation; neglect.