Just as it is healthy for children to have a solid foundation from which to grow, it is critical that programs and services for children and youth within domestic violence agencies have a solid footing within their organizations. Programs for kids who have experienced domestic violence have historically been patched together with a combination of private, local, state and federal funding sources. These programs have often been developed quickly and in response to a variety of grant objectives and outcomes. As a result, many programs are not sustainable, and have had little or no opportunity for staff discussions regarding philosophical underpinnings, structure, or thoughtful policy creation for their work with children and families.
Programs that take time to examine or reexamine their philosophies, core values and personnel policies through the lens of child advocacy, family support, and trauma will create strong and healthy programs with consistent staffing and effective outcomes. Visible support from the entire organization and ongoing engagement on these issues will create solid infrastructures from which to build and institutionalize programs for children, youth and families.