Performance Improvement 2008. How May Domestic Violence and Child Welfare Programs Best Serve Families in Which Children are Endangered by Domestic Violence?


Process and outcome evaluations were conducted of several federally funded demonstrations intended to improve service provision to families with children experiencing domestic violence. The group of demonstration sites operated from 2000-2007 and were known as the Greenbook Initiative, named after a publication that launched the effort. The demonstration initiative was sponsored jointly by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, with many public and private partners at the federal, state and local levels. The evaluations focused on systems level changes within communities to document both what changes took place and, importantly, how those changes occurred. Findings were based on based on interviews, document reviews, and research focused on the sites and related initiatives.

Among the findings: (1) the child welfare system was severely strained, limiting its ability to shift focus; (2) there were gaps in domestic violence policy and services for survivors; (3) strategies were undeveloped in addressing men's roles; and (4) services and support for children lagged behind consideration of parents' needs. Approaches that sites favored to improve service delivery included: (a) collaborative learning and practice as a prelude to new policy; (b) greater participation of survivor mothers and children; (c) greater investment in community; (d) strategies to address race, culture, and gender; (e) therapeutic and other services for mothers and children; (f) greater accountability for men who batter; and (g) broad, meaningful engagement of men as allies in protecting children.

Report Title: Steps Toward Safety: Improving Systemic and Community Responses for Families Experiencing Domestic Violence,
Agency Sponsor: ASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact: Jerry, Silverman, 202-690-5654
Family Violence Prevention Fund

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