Interagency Case Assessment Teams (ICATS): Best Practices in Managing Highest Risk Cases of Intimate Partner Violence

Interagency Case Assessment Teams (ICATs) were introduced in British Columbia in 2010 in response to a high-profile domestic violence homicide that occurred on Vancouver Island. ICATs were developed by the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) and their Community Coordination for Women’s Safety (CCWS) program and were formalized in an amendment to the provincial Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) policy as a collaborative approach to managing highest risk cases involving intimate partner violence. ICATs receive referrals about potentially highest risk situations of intimate partner violence. If an ICAT designates a referred file as highest risk, the standard restrictions on information sharing of confidential information between agencies are paused to allow for the sharing of relevant information and the development of a risk management plan. The best practices for policies and practices for ICATs have been outlined in a Best Practices manual, the most recent version of which was published in 2017. To date, more than 50 ICATs have been established in communities across British Columbia. The objective of the current study was to review the practices of these ICATs in view of the Best Practices manual.

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