Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Gail Bass


Child Abuse; Domestic Violence


There are 3 million child abuse and neglect accounts reported to child welfare agencies across the United States every year, but researchers predict as many as 10 million children are exposed to domestic violence in the home (Christian, 2002). Children do not always show the physical signs of living in homes with domestic violence. Frequently the most prevalent impact can lie within the child’s mind, resulting in possible cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects (Tri-State Rural Collaboration Project, n.d.). In order to provide the best possible care, it is imperative for professionals to understand the effects that domestic violence has on these children.

The effects are displayed within the classroom and can commonly be overlooked as behavioral issues, and professional may not consider looking further for an underlying source. The effect of domestic violence results in children’s decline in ability to perform in their daily activities. Following a review of literature, an educational inservice was developed for occupational therapists to help them gain the necessary basic background knowledge on the impact domestic violence has on children. The inservice covers the following necessary topics: implications of domestic violence, how to identify the children affected, the steps for reporting suspected domestic violence, and an overview of intervention strategies to use when working with these children.

This inservice was designed for occupational therapists working with children between the ages of six to twelve. The product is designed to be presented in a threehour time frame, but is designed in a way that is flexible for the instructor giving the presentation. Inservice materials include; an outline, presentation slides with notes, participant handouts, and a case study and other activities.