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Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative Update Meeting September 23, 2004 Bridgeport Holiday Inn.

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Presentation on theme: "Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative Update Meeting September 23, 2004 Bridgeport Holiday Inn."— Presentation transcript:


2 Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative Update Meeting September 23, 2004 Bridgeport Holiday Inn

3 Bridgeport Board of Education, School Readiness Bridgeport Hospital, Child FIRST Child Guidance Center of Greater Bridgeport The Center for Women and Families The Department of Children and Families, Bridgeport Area Office The Yale School of Medicine, The Consultation Center Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative Update Meeting Contributions to the following information are based on the efforts of the many service providers committed to supporting the needs of families with young children impacted by family violence including: Funding by the Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative Made possible through a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

4 As the Safe Start Initiative moves into its fifth and final year, this update meeting is being held to present several objectives we hope will strengthen the commitment of te community to improve the lives of families impact by violence in the home. Meeting objectives include: Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative Update Meeting Purpose 1.Sharing lessons learned and accomplishments 2.Introducing some next steps for 2005 3.Asking for feedback to help shape our efforts and priorities in the final year of the Initiative

5 Who are the children exposed to violence (CEV)? Safe Start has positively identified 441 CEV The average age is 3.07 Identified CEV are approximately 50% boys and 50% girls 75% of the children are identified as from an ethnic minority group other than “White Caucasian” 91% of the children are Medicaid eligible Background

6 What does the violence exposure look like? 75% of the children witnessed the violence but were not the intended victims 18% of the children were physically injured The violence included punching, hitting and verbal threats 10% of the children were exposed to violence that involved a weapon (i.e. gun, knife) 50% of the children had witnessed a family member being arrested Background

7 Identifying CEV Children are exposed to an average of 5.3 traumatic events before coming to the attention of a support service Service providers recognize the needs of families when families are in the most desperate circumstances (43% identified from court, 9% DCF, 8% community health centers, and 6% law enforcement) Only 5% of requests for services are self reported Lessons Learned

8 Parents of CEV are reporting very high levels of stress 51% of parents are reporting extreme levels of stress using the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) More PTSD symptoms were reported for children whose parents report these high levels of stress As the number of traumatic events experienced by children increased, the stress levels of the parent or caregiver increases Lessons Learned Identifying CEV

9 An overwhelming number of families with CEV have very little economic resources 91% of CEV children identified were eligible for Medicaid Transportation was identified as a consistent barrier to reaching services The intensive case management needed to support CEV is not reimbursable Identifying CEV Lessons Learned

10 Preschool children identified with high socio- emotional and behavioral challenges are at high risk of also being CEV 73% of children identified with very high socio emotional and behavioral challenges were also identified as CEV Preschool teachers can successfully reduce the number of children exhibiting socio-emotional and behavioral challenges by as much as 60% with proper classroom and student strategies Lessons Learned Identifying CEV

11 Identifying domestic violence in families is important to Child Protective Services (CPS) 62% of Bridgeport's CPS workers and supervisors attended three full day trainings CPS piloted a new domestic violence screening tool to be used during the investigation of abuse and neglect CPS investigators met with domestic violence providers to discuss identification and safety planning concerns Lessons Learned Identifying CEV

12 Referring CEV and their families Referrals to support CEV must include support to parents or caregivers Stress levels of parents or caregivers must be reduced in order to respond to the needs of children The needs of parents or caregivers must be considered when addressing the many risk factors associated with CEV Lessons Learned

13 With intensive care coordination, families connect to 69% of the support service needed Court advocates successful connected 40% of families with at least one support service Many programs referring families with CEV are connecting with needed services Referring CEV and their families Lessons Learned

14 Building capacity Over 1,400 service providers attended a Safe Start workshop 82 workshops were held in Bridgeport Feedback from workshops attendees was positive Requests for in-service workshops for Bridgeport agencies have increased over the last 2 years Service providers value workshops on issues relating to young children and violence Lessons Learned

15 Service provider awareness and ability to identify CEV has increased Providers indicated that workshops have supported their ability to meet and create a working network with new providers as a result of attending Many providers working directly with CEV are attending workshops Workshops have had a positive impact on the community Building capacity Lessons Learned

16 Over 40 clinical service providers attended a 2 day training on the impact of violence on young children 4 mental health clinicians participated in a year-long clinical consultation program designed to build their capacity to work with CEV and their families Mental health providers are asking for more in depth training on working with CEV and their families Service providers are asking for higher levels of training on CEV issues Building capacity Lessons Learned

17 73% of families assessed for domestic violence included an interview with the suspected perpetrator 50% of the investigations included the batterer in the treatment plan Safety planning has improved CPS workers report an increased understanding of the the impact of violence exposure on young children Training Child Protective Service (CPS) workers on family violence issues and the impact on children has had a positive effect on service planning Building capacity Lessons Learned

18 Standardized procedures and tools are being implemented across a number of program services Decisions are increasingly data driven Accountability is less burdensome on service providers The efficacy of program services are being proven Service providers have learned to support meaningful and measurable outcomes Building capacity Lessons Learned

19 Initiative challenges Programs must have time and resources to learn and develop capacity before beginning implementation Inconsistent leadership across community services to address children and family issues Many providers across service systems are challenged by how to successfully engage a child and family Sustaining the discussion and learning around improving services to children and families must take place among a broad group of providers Lessons Learned

20 Continue to support the identification and referral of CEV and their families in the courts, Child FIRST, CPS, and early care education classrooms Support efforts to evaluate the efficacy of a 14 question screening tool for CEV to be used by a wide range of providers Continue training providers on how to recognize children impacted by violence in the home Identifying CEV Next Steps

21 Implement and measure the impact of the public awareness campaign Encourage providers to network and learn about available resources Assess the challenges and successes providers face with engaging families with needed services Next Steps Referring CEV and their families

22 Continue supporting classroom consultation for early care educators Continue providing workshops to enhance providers ability to work with CEV and their families Evaluate the impact of the Child FIRST program has on CEV and families Begin to assess the commitment and develop a plan to sustain ongoing improvement for children and family issues Building capacity Next Steps

23 Do you have any feedback on some the next steps to support continued identification, referral and capacity building? Discussion and Feedback Developing framework for 2005 activities and beyond

24 What are the best ways that providers in our community can share what they have learned or make recommendations? How can providers be held accountable to learn? Discussion and Feedback Developing framework for 2005 activities and beyond

25 How could an assessment examining effective strategies to engage children and families be most helpful to you? What questions would it answer? Discussion and Feedback Developing framework for 2005 activities and beyond

26 How can our community sustain a meaningful dialogue across service groups to address and set priorities on children and family issues? Have there been other examples of sustainability successes? Is there commitment? Discussion and Feedback Developing framework for 2005 activities and beyond

27 Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative Update Meeting Thank you

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