Domestic Violence Data Summary:
Hennepin County CPS Investigators
The following summary regards data collected by the Hennepin County Children and
Family Service - Child Protection Investigators’ Unit in collaboration with the Minnesota Center
Against Violence and Abuse at the University of Minnesota. During assessment of child
maltreatment reports, investigators were asked to complete a form regarding domestic violence in
the family of the child(ren) on the report. They first asked the mother or guardian of the child
indicated in the maltreatment report if any threat or use of violence against her by her partner had
occurred in the past year. This was followed by other questions that the investigator was asked to
answer after the investigation was completed.
Did the investigator have any information that led her/him to believe that the woman
was a victim of any violence or threats of violence by another adult in the home?
Was there a finding of maltreatment?
If there was a finding of maltreatment, what was the primary condition risk code for
Was it determined that CP services were needed, not needed but referrals given, or no
services were needed and the case was closed?
CPS Investigators completed 383 forms representing 60.6% of the investigations initiated
between April 12 and May 14, 1999. The following analyses included data recorded on forms
returned to the research staff by July 7, 1999. The findings presented do not include data on
investigations initiated during the target period that were still in progress as of that date.
36.4% of the forms indicated that the mother of the child (or children) on the
report was a recent victim of domestic violence. Adult domestic violence (use or
threat to use violence against the woman by her partner) was reported to the investigator by the
woman in 93 (24.8%) of the reports. The investigator had additional information leading to the
belief that the woman was a victim in 119 (32.2%) of the cases. Thus, domestic violence was
indicated by either one or both of these means in over one-third (36.4%) of the cases for which
forms were completed.
47.3% (177) of the cases indicated a finding of child maltreatment, while 52.7%
(197) reported no finding. (9 cases did not indicate whether or not a finding was made.) Of
those cases that had a finding of child maltreatment, 16.8% noted physical abuse, 3.6% noted
sexual abuse, 6.6% indicated a form of physical or medical neglect, 22.8% cited failure to
protect, 9.6% indicated a different form of neglect, and 40.7% did not specify the maltreatment
Cases indicating a finding of child maltreatment were significantly more likely
than others to show evidence of adult domestic violence. Among the 177 cases
with a finding of maltreatment, 65.1% also had an indication of domestic violence. Nearly 24%
of the total 383 cases investigated indicated adult domestic violence was present in the family.
There was a significant difference in maltreatment condition codes for those
with domestic violence indicated and those without. Of those cases in which
domestic violence was indicated, 10.8% cited physical child abuse, 0% cited sexual abuse,
3.6% cited physical or medical neglect, 9.6% indicated another form of neglect, 34.9% cited
failure to protect, and 41% cited an unspecified maltreatment type. More than three-quarters
(76.3%) of the cases that were cited as ‘failure to protect’ contained indications of adult
A somewhat higher level of risk was recorded for those cases in which
domestic violence was indicated (50.7% high risk) when compared to those in
which no domestic violence was indicated (33.3% high risk). There were lower
percentages of low and intermediate risk cases among those with domestic violence (30.4%
low and 18.8% intermediate) compared to cases without indicated domestic violence (40.6%
low and 26.1% intermediate). Overall, of those in which there was a finding of maltreatment
and a risk level was recorded (138 cases), 42.0% indicated high risk level, 22.5% indicated an
intermediate risk level, and 35.5% indicated a low risk level.
Cases in which domestic violence was indicated, were more likely to have a
CPS case opened (45.6%) than were those in which domestic violence was not
indicated (24.4%). Conversely, cases that did not have an indication of domestic violence
(38.5%) were significantly more likely than those with domestic violence (20.3%) to have the
case closed after investigation. About the same percentages of cases with domestic violence
(34.2%) and without domestic violence (37.2%) were referred for community services.
* NOTE: These findings indicate a high percentage of cases in which the maltreatment condition
code has been interpreted as “finding of maltreatment, unspecified type.” This is due to some data
collection problems in which the maltreatment condition codes “21” and “23” were recorded to
show CPS case termination types rather than maltreatment condition codes. Thus all forms coded
as “21” or “23” were assigned an “unspecified” type.