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January 29, 2024 | Webinar

Rethinking Protection: Collaborating to Create Survivor-Centered Systems


Tien Ung, PhD; Juan Carlos Areán, PhD


Shellie Taggart

Date Recorded:

October 30, 2023


Survivors of domestic violence – both children and adults – need real help that is tailored to their specific needs. Child welfare’s traditional response to domestic violence is based on a limited conception of child safety that is far too often achieved at the expense of child and family well-being – which is critical to a healthy, happy, and productive life. We can improve the safety and well-being of children and their families, advance racial and gender equity, and build strong networks of support by rethinking what protection from domestic violence means and what it looks like in practice. In this webinar, presenters shared key principles and practice & policy frameworks for designing expanded options for helping children, adult survivors of domestic violence, and the people who cause them harm.


  • Learn how to create conditions and experiences to help families experiencing domestic violence.

  • Identify opportunities and touchpoints for implementing a survivor-centered approach to improving child welfare

  • Utilize new resources for developing practices and policies to build child & adult survivor safety, and child & family well-being


Shellie Taggart

Shellie Taggart is a Project Director on the Children’s Team at Futures Without Violence. She directed the Quality Improvement Center on Domestic Violence in Child Welfare (QIC-DVCW) which spearheaded the development, implementation and testing of an adult and child survivor-centered approach and has now culminated into Bridges to Better: Groundwork for building survivor-centered systems. Shellie has been working at the intersection of child welfare and domestic violence for more than 20 years as a practitioner, consultant, and trainer. In her spare time, Shellie strategizes about how to get her grandchildren to put down their electronics and engage with the world.]


  • Tien Ung, PhD

    Tien is the Associate Director of Impact and Learning on the Children’s Team at FUTURES. Her work centers on helping individuals and organizations translate and apply relevant research, build knowledge, and generate culturally authentic evidence to improve outcomes for families impacted by adversity and trauma.  At FUTURES, she collaborates with colleagues and external partners to design practice, program, and policy solutions by integrating community wisdom, lived experience, and 21st century science. Tien draws from 25+ years of experience as a child protection expert, trauma therapist, social work educator, community-based researcher, and systems consultant. She has worked across sectors—including child welfare, criminal justice/family law, schools, rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and child and family trauma clinics. Prior to joining FUTURES, Tien was Director of Leadership Initiatives & Programs at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Tien is a licensed clinical social worker and has a PhD in Social Work.]

  • Juan Carlos Areán, PhD

    Juan Carlos is a Project Director on the Children’s Team at FUTURES. His areas of expertise include engaging men to end violence, working with DV offenders, the intersection of fatherhood and DV, cultural approaches to end violence, facilitation, and curriculum writing. He was previously the Director of the National Latino Network at Casa de Esperanza and the Sexual Assault Prevention Specialist at Harvard University. Juan Carlos is an active trainer who has led hundreds of workshops and presentations throughout the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, as well as in Europe and Asia. A person of many interests, he is an ordained interfaith minister and holds a master’s degree in music composition.]


This webinar is presented in English with closed captioning in English. If you require other accommodations to access this resource, please email us so that we can do our best to meet your need.

Bridges to Better is a project of Futures Without Violence. The development of this webinar is supported by Grant Number 90EV0401, 90EV0532, and 90EV0524 from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and by the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under grant #90CA1850. Points of view shared are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the official positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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