The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is improving collaboration between services and enhancing responses to Alaska’s families by addressing the lack of coordination between domestic violence agencies, tribal partners and child welfare systems. The Safe Growing Together Project examines what domestic violence programs can do to enhance relationships between battered mothers and their children, especially those from under-represented communities or involved in the child welfare system. Alaskan Family Toolbox (SAFT) project includes cross education and development of an integrated training curriculum and policies. This project includes community based multidisciplinary teams in four Alaskan communities: Dillingham, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Kodiak. As of June, 2012 – all four sites have hosted cross-collaborative training of Tribal Services, Advocacy and Office of Children’s Services providers with a focus on Historical Trauma related to the Alaska Native community, understanding safety planning within Advocacy and OCS, and understanding parents who batter.
Recently, the Child Welfare Academy which is responsible for training OCS employees, has added domestic violence as a priority topic in their SKILS training, which prepares new OCS employees for their work in the field. The pilot sites have begun evaluating the relationships, cross-referrals and use of tools developed as a result of the project.