Prevention efforts are critical not only for the well-being of children but also to stop future family violence from...
Collaboration between child welfare agencies, domestic violence, child serving organizations and other community-based programs can help the system become more effective in promoting safety and well-being of adult and child survivors of domestic violence.
Children and youth living in homes where domestic violence occurs may experience negative physical, emotional, social or cognitive impacts from their exposure, and their families can become involved in the child welfare system as a result of a report of abuse or neglect. Black, Native American and Latinx families are disproportionately represented in child welfare as a result of intersecting and compounding inequities in multiple systems and organizations, and experience worse outcomes than White families.
Collaboration between domestic violence programs, child serving organizations, other community-based programs, and child welfare agencies can advance policy and practice that is centered in the experiences of those survivors who are most harmed by the system, collectively build protective factors that benefit both adult and child survivors, implement relational accountability strategies for people who use violence and establish mutual goals and accountability for improving outcomes of families.
What data is available about families and survivors who are involved in both child welfare and domestic violence services? Is there a shared process of making meaning of data?
What community-connected, culturally-specific organizations should be invited and funded to participate as full partners in meaning-making and policy & practice design?
What do child serving organizations understand about the impact of mandatory reporting and child welfare practices on families experiencing domestic violence? How can practices be developed to support both children and adult survivors so that reporting is not necessary, or is not the only option?
Are partnering systems and agencies with more power willing to have open and difficult conversations about the impact of their work on families and communities?
How can conditions be created to encourage partners to commit to transparency (truth-telling), sharing resources and decision-making, and accountability to the community and families served?
Are there staff at multiple levels in both organizations with adaptive leadership skills who are invested in innovation to improve outcomes for all survivors?
Engage and support survivors with lived experiences of the system and services to participate in policy, practice and program development.
Listen actively to understand the impact of the child welfare system and of domestic violence programs on survivors who are disproportionately represented in child welfare and/or underserved by domestic violence programs.
Evaluate the collaboration over time using the Centering Racial Equity Collaboration Survey
Create a shared vision and concrete plans for supporting staff in multiple agencies and organizations to help establish accountability for people who use violence and to create meaningful support for positive change.
Develop a collective work plan for creating conditions and experiences (building protective factors) that help survivors to be safe and that create multiple paths to healing.