Inspiring the Community to Respond: Shelter Work with Partners to Resolve Child Exposure to Family Violence SafeHaven of Tarrant County Ashley Lind, Ph.D.
Project Goals • Early intervention for Child Witnesses of Family Violence • System change throughout Tarrant County
Community Collaborators • SafeHaven of Tarrant County • Police Department • School District • Child Protective Service • United Way
Project Description • Police Department- • Identify if children were present during the domestic disturbance • Identify if children reside in the home who were not present during the domestic disturbance • Safety plan with children on the scene • Call SHTC from the scene with information for immediate follow up care
Project Description Con’t • Child Protective Services • Inform SHTC of new CPS with a domestic violence priority • Allow SHTC employee to accompany CPS case worker on the family home visit to develop a relationship, conduct a needs assessment, safety plan and enroll client in services or make referrals
Program Description Con’t • School District • Allow children exposed to Domestic Violence to receive interventions during non-academic times in school.
Keys to Successful Collaboration • Narrowly define the issue to be addressed • Identify partners who have influence over a successful resolution • Discuss current practices and flow of services between systems • Identify gaps in existing service flow • Ex) police didn’t acknowledge children in the home when responding to a domestic disturbance
Collaboration Con’t: • Consider solutions to service gaps • Ensure that each partner has buy in for their portion of the project • Look at whether the proposed change will benefit THEIR agency (not just the project)? • Does it fit with THEIR agency’s long range plan (prior to participation in the project)? • Do they have the man power to carry out the commitment? • Will there be a lead agency?
Proceeding with Your Collaboration • Be very clear about what the process will be for: staff training, agency oversight, referrals, report submission-by all agencies, who promotes the project (to the community and within each collaborative agency). • Clearly assign accountability systems to ALL collaborative partners • How will staff turn over be addressed?
Consider Appropriate Timeframes • System change is a lengthy process and often tied to individuals vs. organizations in the initial phases • Consider a graduated plan for staff additions • Recognize the potential for slow progress when dealing with large bureaucratic systems