Specialists in welfare offices: Do family violence experts matter?

Andrea Hetling, Catherine E. Born

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In many welfare offices, a key component of the Family Violence Option (FVO) of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was the establishment of experts trained in domestic violence and the new policy. This study analyzes the effect an FVO expert has on three outcomes: domestic violence disclosures; administrative documentation of disclosures; and FVO waiver use. Findings show that the presence of an expert is not related to disclosures or documentation, but does have a statistically significant, negative effect on the likelihood of waiver use. These mixed results indicate that the presence or absence of an expert is not necessarily indicative of an agency's commitment to the FVO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalAdministration in Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 13 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Administration


  • Domestic violence
  • Family Violence Option
  • Welfare reform


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