Bridging the Gaps: Child Welfare’s Vital Role in Public Health Emergencies Addressing Intimate Partner Violence

The National Academies report, “Essential Health Care Services Addressing Intimate Partner Violence,” released on January 11, 2024, serves as a pivotal resource for child welfare agencies and their staff to be effective partners with other key governmental agencies to address gaps in the health care delivery system during public health emergencies for the families who experience intimate partner violence (IPV).

The National Academies committee members focused their efforts on the development of a framework for delivering essential preventive and primary healthcare services related to IPV during public health emergencies to address the gaps.

The motivation for their study was rooted in the understanding that existing healthcare and emergency response mechanisms were insufficient to meet the specific needs of those experiencing IPV during crises. By filling this gap with evidence-based recommendations and a systematic approach, their work aimed to empower healthcare providers, emergency responders, and public agencies to effectively address intimate partner violence within the challenging context of public health emergencies.

The key recommendations in the report highlight the imperative need to establish a comprehensive framework utilizing an all-hazards approach to ensure the provision of essential healthcare services for this population during public health emergencies. The report stresses the importance of addressing health equity, particularly by addressing the specific needs of historically marginalized communities, and emphasized that care programs be evaluated. The report outlines a staged approach, which includes training for healthcare personnel and the development of standardized guidance. It serves as a call to action for coordinated planning and response protocols across different government levels, emphasizing the continuous provision of essential healthcare services for individuals affected by IPV.


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