Children at risk of domestic violence and their educational attainment: perspectives of education welfare officers, social workers and teachers

Dorothy Byrne, Brian Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Children who witness domestic violence may have impaired educational attainment as well as facing other challenges such as struggles with self-esteem and forming relationships. This qualitative study set in Northern Ireland explored the perceptions of Education Welfare Officers, child protection Social Workers and teachers in post-primary schools of the impact of domestic violence on schooling and educational attainment, and of service responses to this. The survey used semi-structured interviews with four professionals in each of the above categories. Findings confirmed the major effect that domestic violence can have on children’s schooling and relationships. Two typical types of responses by children were identified: those who became quiet and withdrawn, and those who became loud and aggressive. There seemed to have been progress in terms of professional understanding and service responses regarding domestic violence, but there seemed to be limited structured cooperation between the professional groups in addressing the effects of domestic violence on children. Sharing of information is hindered by confidentiality issues, some of which might be addressed by integrated teams of appropriate professionals. Greater investment in inter-agency training and development of the preventive role of the Education Welfare Service are recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-201
Number of pages17
JournalChild Care in Practice
Volume13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2007

Keywords

  • Children; domestic violence; education; Education Welfare Service; Inter-Professional Working.

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