In many regions, victim support services are not available or the case requires extensive legal documentation to justify treatment for victims, offenders, and families.
For elder abuse, 42 states have mandatory reporting systems.
However, the committee has identified two areas (home visitation and family preservation services) in which a rigorous set of studies offers important guidance to policy makers and service providers.
In four other areas (reporting practices, batterer treatment programs, record keeping, and collaborative law enforcement approaches) the committee has drawn on its judgment and deliberations to encourage policy makers and service providers to take actions that are consistent with the state of the current research base.
For elder abuse, studies suggest that a high level of public and professional awareness and the availability of comprehensive services to identify, treat, and prevent violence is preferable to reporting requirements in improving rates of case detection.
The absence of a research base to support mandatory reporting systems raises questions as to whether they should be recommended for all areas of family violence.A key question for the committee was whether and when the research evidence is sufficient to guide a critical examination of particular interventions.In some areas, the body of research is sufficient to inform policy choices, program development, evaluation research, data collection, and theory-building; the committee makes recommendations for current policies and practices in these areas below.For domestic violence, mandatory reporting requirements for professional groups like health care providers have been adopted by the state of California and are under consideration in several other states.Mandatory reports are seen as a method by which offenders who abuse multiple partners can be identified through the health care community for law enforcement purposes.Integrated approaches have the potential to illuminate the sequences and ways in which different experiences with violence in the family do and do not overlap with each other and with other kinds of violence.This research approach requires time to mature; at present, it is not strong enough to determine the strengths or limitations of strategies that integrate different forms of family violence compared with approaches that focus on specific forms of family violence.These six interventions were selected for particular attention because (1) they are the focus of current policy attention, service evaluation, and program design; (2) a sufficient length of time has elapsed since the introduction of the intervention to allow for appropriate experience with key program components and measurement of outcomes; (3) the intervention has been widely adopted or is under consideration by a large number of communities to warrant its careful analysis; and (4) the intervention has been described and characterized in the research literature (through program summaries or case studies).All 50 states have adopted laws requiring health professionals and other service providers to report suspected child abuse and neglect.The problems of child maltreatment, domestic violence, and elder abuse have generated hundreds of separate interventions in social service, health, and law enforcement settings.This array of interventions has been driven by the urgency of the different types of family violence, client needs, and the responses of service providers, advocates, and communities.