Interdisciplinary collaboration is becoming a common way of addressing complex and multidimensional social problems. The interest in interdisciplinary response to intimate partner violence raises critical questions about how best to support and encourage collaborating professionals to improve outcomes for families through individual and systemic advocacy. Both the civil and criminal arenas engage in efforts to develop a seamless, comprehensive, coordinated, and interdisciplinary system of delivery of domestic violence services. The creation of specialized domestic violence positions has been the direct result of these partnerships and endeavors.
This publication outlines a framework for communities implementing supervised visitation and exchange services with Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program money from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office Violence Against Women. They are guiding principles for any community that wants to bring together courts, supervised visitation providers, domestic violence agencies, government representatives and other community-based organizations to account for safety when helping families that have experienced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, child abuse, or stalking.
The Greenbook Project of El Paso County (Project) recognizes that legal assistance for victims of domestic violence is a key component to affording safety for both victims and their children. With time of the essence, the Project wanted to identify gaps in services and begin to examine ways to leverage resources to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence locally. The Project contracted with I.S.P. Consulting to conduct a preliminary gathering of information and highlight both short and long term opportunities to increase legal assistance.
This guide was written by and for domestic violence advocates in St. Louis County, Missouri. Domestic violence service providers have a historical commitment to helping battered women and their children. In fact, the message ‘keeping a mother safe will also keep her child safe’ originated from the domestic violence movement. The advocacy community believed it was imperative for their sector to produce a document that could assist advocates to think through how to improve their approach and understanding of co-occurrence cases.
Domestic violence advocates are in a position to assist battered women and their children when it comes to issues around child abuse and neglect without dishonoring the legal parameters that uphold fundamental philosophies of their work. Advocates have opportunities to open the lines of communication with their clients about co-occurrence in order to identify child abuse and neglect indicators and provide services to diminish those indicators; support and aide in the successful completion of a FCS case plan if in existence; link clients to legal and other social supports; create environments that remove perceptions of shame about involvement with FCS; and promote cooperation and collaboration with the client and the other systems involved in her life.
Family time is an important aspect of deprivation case plans. It assists children who have been placed into foster care remain connected with their parent(s), helps retain some sense of normalcy, and is essential to reunification. There are numerous facets to each family's situation and individual consideration must be given to crafting family time arrangements that serve the children and family members in question. When domestic violence is also a factor, intervening professionals need to be aware of the risks and subtleties with family time for the victimized parent and account for safety in that regard.
When families are in court due to allegations of child abuse and/or neglect, a commitment of time and understanding is required by all those involved. CASA/GAL volunteers are an important part of this court system response. Some issues a family faces can be more complicated than others; that is the case with domestic violence. Domestic violence is pervasive in family division caseloads and can impact families in both obvious and subtle ways. The co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse/neglect creates a situation where there are several family members at risk, and decisions on how and if to intervene, can be extremely difficult and dangerous. It is essential that CASA/GAL staff and volunteers be aware of these subtleties and wherever possible work in coordination with other professionals in order to protect both the child and the parent who is the victim of the domestic violence.
Focus groups and interviews were conducted with stakeholders across the State of Vermont to learn about the procedures, decision-making, and outcomes in parent-child contact cases when there is an intersection with domestic violence. This document highlights the themes that emerged and suggests next steps.
This is the final report of the ABA Child Custody and Adoption Pro Bono Project. The Project's mission was to enhance and expand the delivery of legal services to children involved in divorce, adoption, guardianship, unmarried parent, and civil protective order matters. With emphasis on identifying and developing "best practices," training, and technical assistance and to design and implement programs and policies fostering children's well-being and providing children meaningful participation to courts and pro bono programs, the Project served as a critical national resource in the important area of child custody.
The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 reinforced that the safety, permanency, and well-being of the child should be the primary concerns when making decisions about child protection interventions, child placement, and efforts at reunification. The court's role in oversight of agency practice in individual cases through the requirement of specific judicial findings as a condition of receipt of certain funding was also maintained and strengthened by ASFA. Based on the recognition of the number of cases where there is a co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, there is a need for communities and agencies to set reasonable expectations of good practice for responding to the issues raised.
I.S.P. has organized and hosted webinars for many clients.
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For more information about these documents, feel free to contact I.S.P.
Litigation and Advocacy:
Keys to Creating an Effective
Post-Disposition System in Ohio
During the past two years, there have been significant changes in Ohio's institutional response to incarcerated youth. This short film highlights the conditions that led up to the federal lawsuit known as S.H v. Stickrath and the extensive settlement that ensued. The film also explores how the legal system can support improved outcomes for youth after they have been found to be delinquent. Juvenile justice professionals discuss the role of ongoing legal advocacy and enhanced assessment, rehabilitative and reentry programming for youth post-disposition.