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Child and Family Service Review Outcomes: Strategies to Improve Domestic Violence Responses in CFSR Program Improvement Plans FVPF and NRCCPS Webinar September.

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Presentation on theme: "Child and Family Service Review Outcomes: Strategies to Improve Domestic Violence Responses in CFSR Program Improvement Plans FVPF and NRCCPS Webinar September."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child and Family Service Review Outcomes: Strategies to Improve Domestic Violence Responses in CFSR Program Improvement Plans FVPF and NRCCPS Webinar September 23, 2009

2 Presenters Lonna Davis Childrens Program Director Family Violence Prevention Fund Theresa Costello Director, National Resource Center for Child Protective Services Shellie Taggart Author

3 How did we get here?

4 Child and Family Service Review Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997) –Changed the focus of federal reviews of child protection agencies to OUTCOMES for children and families Safety Permanency Well-Being –Engaged states as partners in the process –Provided for technical assistance, and accountability for non- compliance

5 Child and Family Service Review Statewide assessment (with stakeholders) In-person review of 65 cases across 3 sites in the state (foster care and in-home), with interviews of involved parties Report with findings Program Improvement Plan (PIP) –2 year plan focused on systemic changes –Roadmap for ultimately achieving outcomes

6 Goal Improve Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being outcomes for children and their families in which domestic violence* is occurring –Improve CPS practice and policy –Enhance systems of care –Build effective partnerships between DV and CPS * Intimate partner violence, including coercive control

7 Child and Family Service Review Safety –Children are protected from abuse and neglect –Children are safely maintained in their homes whenever possible and appropriate Permanency –Children have permanency and stability in their living situations. –The continuity of family relationships and connections is preserved for families.

8 Child and Family Service Review Well-Being –Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their childrens needs. –Children receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs. –Children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs.

9 DV/CFSR Paper Strategies Make explicit connections between best CPS/DV policy and practice to Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being Summarize research on children and domestic violence Provide guidance on how CPS will know when they are getting it right Suggest how DV/CPS collaborations can focus their efforts in current budget climate

10 Co-occurrence: Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Over 100 studies available Most studies found 30% to 60% overlap, 41% was median High rates of overlap found in: –Child fatality reviews (41% - 43%) –Abused child studies –Battered mother studies Edleson (1999b), Appel & Holden (1998)

11 Domestic Violence and Repeat Child Maltreatment Review of 20 (second-round) CFSR Final Reports in April 2009 –Seven (35%) make a connection between domestic violence and repeat maltreatment –In MA, one office reviewed all repeat maltreatment cases for 6 months, and found that 70% involved domestic violence

12 Domestic Violence within Child Protection Child protection system (CPS) case workers identify a history of domestic violence in 45% of families when active universal screening (using formal policies, procedures, and tools) for domestic violence occurs. –Greenbook Demonstration Initiative, 2004

13 May be physically hurt during assault against mother (accidently or purposefully) May be neglected, particularly when DV is severe May be sexually assaulted by DV offender (as well as mother) May be exposed to domestic violence and other co-occurring issues, e.g. substances May be exposed to domestic violence without other forms of maltreatment How Children Enter CPS

14 Child Exposure to Domestic Violence Children may: Hear the violence, name calling, intimidation, threats, disrespect Feel the tension See the aftermathbroken furniture, injuries to their mother, father being taken away by police Be used to relay messages, keep tabs on mother, harass mother after separation

15 Child Exposure to Domestic Violence Children may: May have their own safety or well-being threatened threats to kill, threats to call CPS (removal), threats of kidnapping or never seeing their mother again Be forced to participate in or watch the abuse of their mother Directly witness assault, rape of their mother Witness homicide of their mother Be injured or killed themselves, directly or as a result of intervening on their mothers behalf

16 Differential Impact of Exposure Factors Severity and frequency of violence Age, and age at first exposure Length of time since exposure Co-occurrence of exposure and child abuse How child understands the violence Childs own temperament Presence of consistent and caring adults Opportunities for healing and success Assets in the community

17 Implications for CPS Practice Screen all families for domestic violence When domestic violence is identified, conduct danger/safety and risk assessment specific to DV Demonstrate nexus between domestic violence and impact on child Increase safety of the non-offending parent and child together Tailor CPS intervention to the family based on the specific needs of the child Engage domestic violence offender to hold him accountable for harm to the child

18 Safety Outcomes Children are protected from abuse and neglect –Clarify thresholds and definitions related to domestic violence, and use them consistently in practice –Conduct universal screening –Assess nature, frequency, severity of violence –Implement domestic violence best practice to avoid increasing danger or risk

19 Safety Outcomes Children are safely maintained in their homes when possible and appropriate –Increase safety of non-offending parent and child together by providing resources and holding DV offender responsible –Establish family engagement and family team meeting strategies that keep children and mothers safe –Provide workers specialized consultation for planning for DV cases

20 Permanency Outcomes Children have permanency and stability in their living situations. –Screen foster and adoptive families for domestic violence –For relative placements, explore loyalties and potential fears of domestic violence offender –Provide training to foster and kin caregivers on supporting children exposed to domestic violence –Establish DV reasonable efforts criteria

21 Permanency Outcomes The continuity of family relationships and connections is preserved for families. –Explore natural support system of child and recruit placement resources based on existing relationships –Establish guidelines for separate and safe visits for non-offending parent and domestic violence offender –Explore availability and appropriateness of non- resident parent to provide a home or respite for the child

22 Well-Being Outcomes Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their childrens needs. –Provide funding for basic needs –Refer individuals to appropriate services (avoid anger management, couples counseling, routine psychological evaluations, in home services that are not trained in domestic violence intervention) –Support and encourage parents, when safe to do so, to talk to their child about the violence –Develop a trauma-informed system of care

23 Well-Being Outcomes Children receive appropriate educational services. –Engage schools in development of screening tools and processes for children exposed to domestic violence. –Ensure that impact of exposure to violence is considered in development of IEPs

24 Well-Being Outcomes Children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs. –Establish basic screening for exposure to domestic violence as a core function for all contracted services –Fund/build capacity in domestic violence programs to serve children –Fund trauma evaluations when needed

25 Systemic Factors Collaborate with DV partners in: Data collection –Collect and analyze prevalence and practice level data Training –Provide integrated, progressive skill development Case planning –Write separate plans for DV offender and non- offending parent

26 Systemic Factors Collaborate with DV partners in: Quality Assurance efforts –Conduct DV case reviews System of care development –Therapeutic services for children, children and mother together –Highly skilled in home workers who are trained in domestic violence intervention –Advocacy services for the non-offending parent –Batterer intervention services, responsible fatherhood programs for the DV offender –Culturally specific services –Supervised visitation –Gender-specific substance abuse and mental health services

27 Resources The Greenbook Demonstration Initiative National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community

28 Resources Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence National Resource Center on Domestic Violence Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse

29 Resources National Resource Center on Child Protective Services Family Violence Prevention Fund National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Family Violence Department and Technical Assistance


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