The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), Texas’ statewide domestic violence coalition, is dedicated to promoting safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from family violence. Five of TCFV’s member organizations, Noah Project Inc. (Abilene), Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.(San Antonio), and Mujeres Unidas/Women Together Foundation, Friendship of Women, Inc. and Family Crisis Center of the Rio Grande Valley (all located along the Rio Grande Valley) have partnered with TCFV to focus on enhancing residential and non-residential services to benefit domestic violence victims and their children who are involved with Child Protective Services (CPS), Texas’s child welfare system.
TCFV’s initiative implements two key strategies aimed at achieving enhanced services for survivors and their children:
- Demonstrate that collaboration between DV programs and CPS through the use of an enhanced CPS liaison position promotes better outcomes for families involved with CPS; and
- Support non-abusing parents in promoting resiliency in their children by implementing a parenting curriculum designed specifically for DV survivor parents who are involved with the CPS system.
By elevating the CPS Liaison function, required for all state-funded domestic violence organizations, we hope to increase the capacity of this specialized domestic violence advocacy function to assist their community in addressing the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect. By measuring local DV staff’s confidence and competence in working with CPS to assist survivors and their children and CPS staff’s confidence & competence working with and referring to local DV services and serving adult survivors of DV we hope to show an increase in the above outcomes that is directly related to the support the enhanced CPS liaison position provides.
TCFV’s Demonstration Sites will pilot a parenting program that promotes child resiliency and supports the non-abusing parent/child bond by helping domestic violence survivors support their children’s healing and resiliency. TCFV will report on the utility of the parenting program, which consists of seven core components/ modules geared toward supporting healing and resiliency in children exposed.
The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) has led a number of initiatives over the past several years to improve local and state-level collaboration in responding to families experiencing the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse. Significant changes in statewide policy and local practices have resulted from this work.
TCFV supported six pilot sites in developing various approaches to collaboration with CPS, including new models of advocating for survivor parents and their children in within the CPS system, parenting support, and legal advocacy for systems involved survivor parents. These approaches ranged from the creation of a dedicated CPS liaison position, to creating internal policies for working with CPS and developing trainings for and with CPS. As part of our statewide advocacy work, TCFV developed resource rights cards in English and Spanish that provide information for advocates and survivors about the rights and responsibilities of parents who are survivors of family violence in the CPS system. We also developed a section of our webpage specifically for advocates working with CPS to equip them with knowledge, resources and tools to effectively navigate the complex issues that are present in families where domestic violence is present and CPS is involved. At the statewide level, TCFV continues to provide expertise to CPS on the development of new policy and practice. These state-level collaborations have produced significant changes in statewide policy and local practice.
For more information, contact TCFV CPS Policy Manager Shellie Ryan at: sryan@TCFV.org or 512-685-6353.