Interpersonal Violence 

Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Understanding the Community Service Response & Needs in Texas

The Children Exposed to Domestic Violence, funded by the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor, project is documenting the availability of services, the service needs and the gaps and barriers to support for children exposed to domestic violence and for survivors who are parents of children under 18 years old. It is a collaborative project with University of Texas at Austin’s Institute on Child and Family Wellbeing and is in partnership with the Texas Council on Family Violence and Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services.

Children’s exposure to domestic violence can lead to many negative health outcomes. Community-based supportive services and interventions that understand the dynamics of domestic violence can mitigate these negative outcomes; but the depth and availability of these services and the needs for support have yet to be thoroughly assessed in Texas. This project is documenting the innovative practices and the gaps across Texas through the implementation of two statewide surveys; by conducting in-depth interviews with service users and practitioners; and by analyzing secondary data from the Texas 2019 State Plan. These activities are informing the development of a comprehensive, evidence-based guide of findings to bolster community services for children exposed to domestic violence.

Specific project questions include:

  1. What is accessibility and availability of services for children, including teenagers, in domestic violence agencies in Texas?
  2. What are the services provided, how do services align with best practices and how are the services currently being evaluated?
  3. What are children’s and families’ service needs and experiences in domestic violence services?
  4. How are community-based child welfare service providers assessing for and addressing children’s exposure to domestic violence? What are the needs and services gaps for children exposed to domestic violence when accessing other community child welfare agencies’ services?

For more information, contact Leila Wood at or Project Manager, Maggy McGiffert at