This paper provides an overview of legal and policy context for any domestic violence training of Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) and Child Support Enforcement (CSE) staff. It briefly covers the federal legal option each state has to make a "Family Violence Option" part of its TANF state plan. It highlights issues around individual service plans, confidentiality and nondisclosure of information, child support cooperation requirements, paternity establishment policies, family cap provisions, even integration of records via database with the goal of promoting strategies to increase safety, reduce danger, and to support battered women in making informed and voluntary choices.
It presents concrete suggestions for an effective training, and describes four elements that make up a "basic response to domestic violence" providing steps a worker can take to decrease risks, provide supportive communication, keep confidentiality, and provide meaningful referrals and resources. The paper also provides concrete examples of how certain approaches can increase danger or at minimum be ineffective.