Mary Ann Cole

Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development


Sandra L. Caron

Second Committee Member

Robert Milardo

Third Committee Member

Julie Dellamattera


This exploratory study investigated the factors which Child Protective Service caseworkers believe invoke change within the domestic violence abuser and victim, and ultimately may lead to success in terms of keeping the children within the family unit. Interviews with six case workers asked them about their approach, the demographic information about the family, length of domestic violence, and other variables that they believe may have influenced the family's ability to change. The successful reunifications took place within the families who fully engaged in services, admitted the issues within the family home, set clear boundaries with each other, and sought and maintained an appropriate support system. Implications for caseworkers involved with families experiencing domestic violence, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.