The Flourishing Child project was a four-year, multi-system collaboration that implemented a flexible, family-centered, and relationship-oriented program designed to improve access to trauma and culturally-informed services to non-abusing parents and their children exposed to domestic violence. Key partners located in Anchorage, AK were the regional Tribal social services organization, the local domestic violence provider and child protection system. The project expanded upon successful strategies of the key partners to improve system responsiveness through shared learning and direct support to Alaska Native or American Indian adults and children impacted by family violence. Early strategies included co-location of comprehensive mental health and wrap-around case management services in non-traditional locations that was expanded to the Tribal social services Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF) program in this project. The project demonstrated impact in the lives and experiences of individuals, families, peer professional and partnering agencies involved in the collaboration. Impact was documented in reduced barriers for families, particularly those having experienced domestic violence, enhanced local provider capacity and confidence in responding appropriately to the needs of non-abusing parents and their families, and enhanced meaningful partnerships with promising and sustained strategies to maintain system gains.
Cross-system shared knowledge and practice through training and consultation
Trauma and culturally-informed identification of families experiencing domestic violence
Immediate and accessible domestic violence support at a non-traditional service location
Expanded domestic violence-informed wrap-around services
Outcomes and Accomplishments
Trained 154 Anchorage-based providers from child protection, domestic violence, and family-serving organizations
Implemented and sustained a shared learning cohort of cross-system staff to generalize knowledge gain of training
Co-located and sustained a contracted domestic violence advocate in partnership with the local domestic violence provider in the Tribal social services organization
886 recorded instances of the co-located domestic violence advocate enhancing Tribal social services staff capacity related to domestic violence, warning signs, power and control, and knowledge of community resources
265 case consultations performed between the co-located domestic violence advocate and Tribal social services staff, requiring a release of information (ROI)
198 encounters between the domestic violence co-located advocate and Tribal social services staff for DV 101 education
138 individual encounters by the co-located domestic violence advocate at the Tribal social services location with individuals experiencing violence
137 referrals provided by the colocated advocate to community-based services
Broadened accepted documentation of domestic violence qualifiers for obtaining extending TANF benefits, to include alternatives to protective orders for individuals experiencing domestic violence
97 referrals were made to the co-located domestic violence advocate for services by Tribal social services staff, 91% were successfully followed up on within 24 hours of being placed
Engaged 78 adults exposed to domestic violence, who collectively have a total of 193 children in intensive wrap-around services by Tribal staff
At discharge, 92% of participants were very satisfied with the services, and 98% felt confident as a parent
Examples of Impact
For Providers (N=56) who attended the 4-day Core Safe & Together Training, evidence showed statistically significant change for several indicators. This included all four of the common SSAPC indicators. According to the reports, provider evidence showed significant gains in their understanding of the way domestic violence impacts children, parenting, the parent-child relationship, and how survivors support their children.
In addition to better responding to families impacted by domestic violence, providers reported significant gains in understanding their own believes, values, and how they influence their work because of the training. Additionally, 21 Anchorage-based providers earned a Safe & Together TM Model Core Training Level 1 Certification.
Participants of wrap-around services overwhelmingly expressed appreciation and gratitude for the program and staff and overwhelming expressed the need for sustaining programming in the community.
Interview findings revealed participants rely greatly on the physical, but also psychological support and benefits, afforded through this intentional meeting of families where they are at, in the context they are in.
Tribal social services staff were described by participants as serving a multitude of roles, being resourceful, dependable, understanding, flexible, and supportive.
“I finally feel like I’ve become stronger and more confident. I feel I’ve definitely grown.”
“My case manager helped me and was by my side when I felt like I could never start a healing process from domestic violence. She continues to stand by my side, I couldn’t do it without her.”
Flourishing Child Partners:
The Flourishing Child project partners committed to implement, iterate and sustain the project strategies include:
Cook Inlet Tribal Council (lead agency): https://citci.org
Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC): http://www.awaic.org
Office of Children’s Services (OCS): http://dhss.alaska.gov/ocs
Flourishing Child Tribal TANF Program Infographic: click here to download