Background and Rationale of the project

Domestic violence can be regarded as the constant control practised by a partner in a relationship. The abused partner is often unknown about the reaction of the perpetrator and thus lives a frightened life. It has further been found that during the process of domestic violence children are often in the same room or can see or hear from distance. This puts a very bad impact on the overall psyche of children. In ,most of the cases they become abusers in the later years of there life (Herrenkohl And et. al., 2008). Social work interventions are there to work with the children followed by listening and supporting them. The process may also entail towards getting an injunction while becoming open and honest about the entire process.

In this regard, the rationale behind choosing the topic being children (aged 0 to 10) affected by domestic violence and social work intervention is to assess the gaps present in the social work intervention when they are there to deal with domestic violence. It is likely to aid the practitioner in drawing upon present day policies and procedures to best support children that have been affected by domestic violence (Martinez‐Torteya and et. al., 2009).

why is this topic important to Health?

The topic is very important for health as researchers regard domestic violence to be a form of child abuse which has a potential to impact the overall psyche of the child. It thus puts a negative impact on the health of child. The affects of domestic violence have been foubd to show health problems related to depression, somatic or physiological complaints, anxiety and withdrawal. Impacts are also wide ranging in terms of facing issues related to child behaviour, cognitive and social problem-solving abilities along with their coping and emotional functioning (Moylan and et. al., 2010).

What is the aim of the project

To explore and examine research in children (aged 0 To 10) affected by domestic violence and social work intervention.

  1. To explore and critically appraise academic literature and research.
  2. To identify findings and any wider implications of social work theories and ethics.
  3. To assess how practitioners can draw upon present day policies and procedures to best support children affected by domestic violence.

Which policies/ legislations/ strategies and agency link to your topic will be discussed?

The study will ensure to have a discussion over many policies/ legislations/ strategies and agency that are linked to the topic being children (aged 0 to 10) affected by domestic violence and social work intervention.

The children act 1989 as well as Children Act 2004 provides for a domestic framework for protection of child. It further revolves around the key principle that taking care about child's welfare is of paramount consideration. Section 120 of the Adoption as well as Children Act 2002 has extended the legal definition of ‘significant harm. It can be defined as the harm that is caused by witnessing or overhearing abuse in context of domestic violence (Øverlien, 2009 ).

Other than this, there is also a presence of many agencies like National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV). It is there to provide for a free as well as fast emergency injection service to the survivors that have been affected by domestic violence (Welcome to National Centre for Domestic Violence, 2014). There is also a presence of National Strategy to Address Domestic Abuse in Scotland which clearly specifies all the forms of violence present in society and makes them unacceptable. The strategy is based on an ultimate goal to take all the measures so as to eliminate domestic abuse (Sousa and et. al., 2011).

What literature search strategy was used?

The search strategy that the researcher has adopted in order to complete the current dissertation on investigating the plight of children between 0-10 years of age from domestic violence and also the social work intervention related to it is that of conducting the literature review. Literature review was undertaken as it includes a logical sequence for search of literature and through this good amount of information can also be gained. This also requires to have a specific research question for the present study and so research question has been framed for the current study (Macnee and McCabe, , 2008).

First of all, electronic databases were being referred in order to have a pool of information regarding the domestic violence that happens in front of children between ages of 0-10 years and the various social interventions for the same. These are the electronic sources of information on which are available huge quantity of facts regarding the topic under study. For the current dissertation, databases of Science Direct, Cochrane and Google Scholar were being referred by the researcher. Science Direct and Cochrane includes good quality and huge amount of information regarding a number of aspects of health and social care. The sources within these can be considered as reliable as well. Google Scholar is a web search engine that includes within it a lot of information regarding various search topics (Rubin and Bellamy, 2012).

Following this, key words were also decided on basis of which search for the literature was done further. These are a list of antonyms and synonyms by using to which referring to a list of indexes becomes easier. The main key words for the current dissertation include children or child or domestic violence or aggression or interventions. Apart from this, inclusion and exclusion criteria were also decided in order to search for the appropriate literature related to the current dissertation (Importance of Keyword Research in Link Building, 2010). The inclusion criteria includes those studies to be included that are carried on from 2004 and are essentially in English language. Also, those articles that are on domestic violence in front of children are only included. Apart from this, studies that are prior 2004 and not written in English language are excluded to be taken within the current dissertation. Also, studies that are not on domestic violence and social work interventions are also not included (WEBB and ROE, 2008).

Ethical and anti – oppressive practice issues

For the current dissertation, the aspect of ethical and anti – oppressive issues have been considered in the field of practice of providing social interventions for the children facing domestic violence.

Project outline

Following are the chapters and their contents that are included within the dissertation -

Introduction – This is the first chapter of dissertation which includes the background and rationale of the project. Also, it consist of aims and objectives as well as various policies or strategies that are associated with the topic under study. Apart from this, it also includes literature search strategies that are adopted in order to conduct the entire literature review and find the suitable data for the dissertation.

Literature review – This part of the dissertation forms the main the body of the dissertation and covered the main themes of discussion related to the topic of research regrading children in age group of 0-10 years facing domestic violence and social work interventions related to this also.

Application of theory to practice – The third chapter of the dissertation include the various policies or strategies that are in place in order to the tackle the particular issue of children who face domestic violence. This also includes identifying a particular intervention for such children.

Conclusion and recommendations – The last chapter of dissertation includes the conclusion of all the findings and literature searched in the earlier sections. Recommendations are also included within this on the basis of literature that has been searched.


Domestic violence: a concept

Impact of domestic violence on children

Many studies have been carried out by research scholars so as to assess the overall impact of domestic violence on children. The children who have been witnessing domestic violence have been found to suffer from emotional, behaviour, and learning problems. The susceptibility of children towards domestic violence is further affected by developmental level, exposure to issue, physical as well as emotional closeness.

The parameters have concluded that witnessing violence between the parents can be an insidious incident for the children. Moreover, the home environment is often considered as a place where a child feels safe and protected. Hence, exposure to domestic violence causes a variety of problems in children. The study further concluded that there is a rare presence of direct causal pathway that leads to a particular outcome and children are active in construction of their own social world (Holt, Buckley and Whelan, 2008).

Study by Chemtob and, 2004 has found a huge correlation between domestic violence and child abuse. Assessment carried out on 50 mothers have found evidences of avoidance, physiological arousal, post-traumatic re-experiencing, as well as other related symptom in the affected children. Results have shown a presence of high level of trauma disorders both in children as well as the mother (Chemtob and, 2004).

social work theories and ethics on domestic violence

Social work intervention

As per the study by Hornor, 2005 it has been found that domestic violence has impacted the life of children in many ways. It is very essential for primary care providers to work with children. This is inclusive of understanding the dynamics of domestic violence so as to put in interventions in a proper manner (Hornor, 2005). Primary care providers have thus got a professional responsibility to screen for domestic violence. In this regard, the social work interventions adopted by Primary care providers and social workers can thus play a key role to break the cycle of family violence by making use of timely as well as appropriate intervention.

Even the study done by Fantuzzo and, 1997 have revealed findings that underscore the importance of establishing an interdisciplinary, scientific research agenda to inform assesment as well as treatment efforts for children who have been witnessing domestic violence in the age of 0 to 10 years (Fantuzzo and, 1997).

However, some of the professionals have found it quite difficult to carry out the social interventions. The study by Evans, Davies and DiLillo, 2008, have revealed issues related to lack of comfort shown by the affected, powerlessness in kids , loss of control, and time constraints by the social workers. These issues have prevented them to carry out the social interventions in a planned manner. However, the study further revealed that these issues can be resolved by training programs (Evans, Davies and DiLillo, 2008).

Chapter 3: Application for Theory to Practice

Here in this section the description of some theories has been presented in order to understand the concepts and problems in detailed manner. In order to understand the subject matter in appropriate and effective way there is need of relying upon some of the most significant models and theories. The description of various theories is given below:

1. Attachment Theory:

This theory has been propounded by the John Bowlby in the year 1958. Later on various transformations or changes has been done within the theories that provides huge level of stability to the results of this theory. Here in this theory the behaviour aspects of the children has been studied in an appropriate way. It is to acknowledge that with the help of this theory the impact of mother's relationship onto the children's behaviour and their mindset has been taken into special consideration. The analysis has been done with respect to the social, emotional and cognitive development. Here attachment has gained huge priority by the author and it become the basis of whole study (Martinez‐Torteya and et. al, 2009).

The foremost element of attachment theory is that attachment basically depends upon the food and feeding related aspects. According to psychologists the small children just develop his sense of attachment to the person who feeds them. This particular emotional aspects helps immensely in the creating the emotional contact between the infant and feeder (usually mother) who feeds them. It creates the strong bonding and the stages of action reaction started to be commenced. Further it has also noticed that other emotions like crying, smiling etc. could also become stronger through contact between infant and mother and most importantly by response from each other. As this process starts to continue and infants gets the response from other side then it just strengthen the attachment and affection level. Infants gets confident about the response and it just make them happier (Martinez‐Torteya and et. al, 2009).

Another aspect of attachment theory suggest that children understand the touch and in starting stage of their life cycle they get used to about particular touch. It increases their familiarity and put its impact at their behaviour aspects. In order to survive into this world developing the attachment is essential as it helps in respond back and for the purpose of placing the demand. Further this theory again give huge preference to the fact that the behaviour of infant like smiling, crying etc. is not an activity only. At this stage it demands more than only response. Whenever children start to cry or smile adults give caring or enthusiastic response which also put its impact at their behavioural aspects. Here care as gained priority over the food. At the same juncture it is essential to understand that the period of 0 to 5 years is very crucial and there is huge requirement of focusing on the upbringing and most importantly the development of attachment is largely affected at this stage of life cycle (Macnee and McCabe, 2008). Any problem in the development of attachment at this period might cause reduction in intelligence (emotional and mental both) and increment in aggression. Ahead the level of emotional turbulence could also experience if there is no attachment.

In the development of attachment the role of age factor or particular age matters a lot. The behaviour aspects of children could be changed and they can show different kind of emotional and response factor to various people. Like in the age of 0 to 3 months the children could be touch sensitive and respond to feeder. After 3 months the various touch become familiar but still priority is set by the children. After a year the difference could be easily understandable but still he look after for certain people towards security, comfort and protection. Now child respond back to numerous people but attachment remains very much restricted. Afterwards slowly- slowly children starts to develop his own attachments and it helps in making him independent and confident. Therefore in this way the attachment theory is not completely based upon the development of relationships but it usually indicates towards the specific phases of the life. It is to acknowledge that with the help of such aspects it become easier to state that attachment theory can definitely indicates towards the importance of mother or parents in the starting phase of infant's life (Macnee and McCabe, 2008). Their touch, care, response and feeding process have huge impact at the mindset of child. The relationship of mother with new born child is very special and there is huge requirement of understanding the behaviour or response pattern of children. Physical attachment is considered as most secure kind of attachment as till the 1 year of life span child remain highly touch sensitive. They respond as per the touch or people who are around them. So the outcomes of attachment theory might helps in affecting the future development stages of infant.

2. Feminist theory:

The main aim of this theory is to develop intellect about the gender inequality and most importantly huge level of consideration has been paid on identifying the role of women in society. Here to foster the better living of women the comparison among the men and women within the society. Further various aspects of discrimination like racism, class, religious aspects etc. have also investigated with respect to the status of women. The feminist theory is highly useful in contributing towards the analysis of social status of women or girls (Rubin and Bellamy, 2012). There are actually four aspects of the feminist theory that could be beneficial with respect to understand the societal difference between men and women. The explanation of these aspects is given below:

Gender differences: Here it has gained special consideration that the gender differences could be experienced as their role differentiation within the society. Now a days the woman has been treated as the object and their value within the society is degrading. The impact of this factor could be seen at behavioural aspects of people or society with female infant. The gender differences are very huge within the society and the level of opportunities for men and women is also not up to the highest extent. This particular environment is required to be eradicated so that the gender differences could be minimized.

Gender inequality: Other than the differences the position of women is also unequal within the society. As compare to women they face more inequality at various places and it increases the troubles for them. It has been argued that the capacity of women is also appreciable and most importantly it could be realize that they can also get equal opportunities. The woman should get fair chances as they have proved their efficiency in every phase of life. If it is related to maintaining the social relations, handling the household duties, dealing with child or other family members and sometimes ensuring active participation into the job as well. So women should also get equal opportunities as it can minimize the level of stress among women (Holt, Buckley and Whelan, 2008).

Gender oppression: It indicates towards the worst social situation of women. As per this theory the condition of gender differences or inequality is also not acceptable but the gender oppression increases the level of stress. Here it has been cited that the women are physically or mentally abused by women and the living situations are also not so appreciated. Men's don't give much respect to them and treat them in suppressed manner. For those kind of people the emotions of women is null and it just affect largely the attitude level of women only. The power generally didn't delegate in an appropriate way. The female infant are also affected by such kind of thought process and it just affect their mindset and emotional aspect. In feminist theory it has been found that being a woman is good and proud thing but applying it or accepting it practically is tough for society.

Structural oppression: This is another theory under the feminist theory that the capitalism, racism are some of the major factor behind the worst situation of women. These aspects have given birth to male dominance and female started to be treated as secondary part of society. It started to exploit the women sexually and emotionally, financially. So feminist theory indicates towards the different group who has different thought process and opinion about women. All these above mentioned four aspects of feminist theory gains huge consideration and it just affect the shape of women within the society (Holt, Buckley and Whelan, 2008). The crippled thought process is required to be repaired as it creates obstacles in the development of female child as well.

Ecological theory:

It explains the development of human and it includes five environmental systems in which every individual has some sort of connection or interaction. In this theory the relationship of individual has been studied with respect to society and different environmental systems. It include five systems which affect the individual from childhood to the last stage of life cycle. In ecological theory the person is required to focus on surrounding as the improvement in system can definitely show its impact at the overall system and upbringing of any individual. The behaviour of any person is also hugely affected with the nature and behaviour of people who are attached to system. The explanation of this system is as follows:

Micro system: It includes the set of society people who are closely associated with an individual and stay with person from his childhood. The impact of ideologies of those group of people is very huge and it includes family, neighbourhood, friends, school peers etc. The child development has direct and strong association with the family members and friends. It includes very small but most significant group of people (Sousa and et. al., 2011).

Meso system: It explains about the linkage between the various element of micro systems and an individual's behaviour. It is clear that the meso system is something which establish the relationship between the child and various aspects of meso system. It is something that generally describe that if the peer or family members are able to develop the person in right kind of working environment then it just affect the attitude of any individual in an appropriate way. Meso system provides each and every detail with respect to the analysis of all the details hidden behind the development of opinions and mindset of any individual.

Exo system: It includes the factors which are not in control of an individual but still put its impact at their social aspect. The people who catches the activities and their behaviour is also affected by the external environment comes under the exo system. This part of ecological theory is very much crucial and it just include all the major external factors.

Macro system: it involves the overall external factors like country's culture, poverty level, values and economic conditions etc. all affect the overall upbringing or development of child. Here it is essential to understand that the identity of any person is influenced by variety of aspects and it just include the cultural group as well. The change in macro system like cultural values of any country, social or economic changes fosters the changes in the thought process of child. They assume the changes beneficial for them and make alignment with recent changes and social as well as cultural environment (Sousa and et. al., 2011). Change in generation bring changes into the cultural values and child development also experience the changes hugely. So macro system portrays the effect of external environment on the human or child development.

Chrono system: It deals with the impact of historical aspects on the human development. The thought process of any individual are highly affected by the historical events. The impact of those events could be definitely experienced on the upcoming future and most importantly it might create troubles or confidence as per the consequences of past historical events. Thus in this way these are certain theories that might be helpful with respect to understand the children development.


  • Chemtob, C. M. and Carlson, J. G., 2004. Psychological Effects of Domestic Violence on Children and Their Mothers. International Journal of Stress Management.
  • Domestic Violence London. 2015. Online. Available through: <> [Accessed on 4th February 2014].
  • Evans, S. E., Davies, C., and DiLillo, D., 2008. Exposure to domestic violence: A meta-analysis of child and adolescent outcomes. Aggression and Violent Behavior.
  • Fantuzzo, J., and, 1997. Domestic violence and children: Prevalence and risk in five major US cities. Journal of the American Academy of child & Adolescent psychiatry.
  • Herrenkohl, T. I. And et. al., 2008. Intersection of child abuse and children's exposure to domestic violence. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.
  • Holt, S., Buckley, H., and Whelan, S., 2008. The impact of exposure to domestic violence on children and young people: A review of the literature. Child abuse & neglect.

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