Social Work



Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Laurel N. Bidwell


This Banded Dissertation consists of three products connected through a focus on trauma-informed approaches directed at families impacted by domestic violence. In this dissertation a trauma-informed perspective is integrated with ecological theory as a framework to further understand trauma experiences while attending to the uniqueness of individual survivors and their children. This framework generates a foundation for application of supportive interventions for domestic violence survivors and their children, while at the same time maintaining awareness of the survivors as individuals, as families, and as members of their community.

Product One is a conceptual analysis examining the integration of trauma-informed practices with ecological theory for interventions supporting domestic violence survivors and their children. This conceptual analysis is offered as a way to consider the impact of trauma within the domestic violence survivors’ environment (and that of their children) while simultaneously providing interventions to support their capacity for healing within safe and trauma-informed backdrop.

Product Two is a systematic review of interventions directed at domestic violence survivors and their children. This review is an exploration of current research on trauma-informed, family-centered interventions for domestic violence survivors and their children. Drawing from 13 studies, this review highlights six distinct interventions and details trauma-informed practices such as attention to trauma, creation of a safe environment, peer support opportunities, organizational staff support, and client respect and self-determination.

Product Three is a presentation on trauma-informed approaches and highlights trauma-informed practices occurring in New Mexico at three pilot projects initiated through the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Domestic violence survivors and their children deserve high quality services that specifically address trauma experiences that may have impacted their parent-child relationship. Offering this presentation at a statewide conference gave attendees an idea of trauma-informed practices currently available to families.

This Banded Dissertation explores trauma-informed interventions for domestic violence survivors and their children. The author’s personal commitment to building capacity for children and families in domestic violence programs throughout New Mexico guided the extensive search for family-centered, trauma-informed interventions and provided a foundation for a conceptual framework. Domestic violence survivors and their children benefit from interventions that integrate both ecological theory and trauma-informed interventions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.