Tools and processes for assessing progress toward becoming domestic violence-informed.

The Safe & Together Institute has developed tools and processes to help child welfare agencies and communities assess their own progress toward becoming domestic violence-informed. The tools can be used in conjunction with each other or separately.

  • Case Reading Process
  • Domestic Violence-Informed Organizational Self-Assessment
  • Data Review and Consultation
  • Policy and Protocol Review and Consultation

Case Reading Process

The case reading process is designed to apply the Safe & Together™ Model and related domestic violence-informed child welfare continuum of practice framework in identifying a child protection agency’s domestic violence related strengths and needs. The process:

  • uses an in-depth, qualitative review to identify trends and practices.
  • is designed to examine if domestic violence is effectively identified in cases, and the quality of domestic violence practice.
  • can help improve policy, practice, training, supervision, services, collaboration with community partners, and work with the courts.

Our Case Reading has been implemented by individual agencies in the US and UK. It was also used in the first-of-its-kind national review of child protection domestic violence practice in Australia.

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Australia Case Reading Report (summary)

Australia Case Reading Report (full)

Domestic Violence-Informed Organizational Assessment

All child welfare systems fall on the Continuum of Domestic Violence Practice (CODVP) from “domestic violence destructive” to “domestic violence proficient.” The purpose of this assessment process is to help child welfare agencies assess where they fall on the CODVP. Using a series of questions focused on both policy and day-to-day practice, the process covers a number of areas including universal screening, high standards for fathers, survivors’ protective efforts, services, data collection and more. The assessment provides child welfare agencies with baseline information about their organization’s domestic violence proficiency and can lead to recommendations that inform organizational needs, planning and implementation around training, practice guidelines, policies, protocols, and supervisory practices.

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Domestic Violence-Informed Quiz

Data Review and Consultation

Many child welfare agencies have devoted very little time to understand how domestic violence is measured on their caseload and how the presence of domestic violence in families intersects with important outcomes like out-of-home removal and repeat maltreatment rates. Systems rarely have an accurate picture of the relationship of domestic violence to other key initiatives such as differential response or trauma. As part of an organizational assessment (or separately), the Safe & Together Institute provides a data review, which includes investigating where the presence of domestic violence is currently captured in the system; definitions of domestic violence used to capture those data points; and how the current data picture is tied to priority agency outcome measures. Safe & Together then offers recommendations for domestic violence data collection and improved reporting for a clearer picture of the role domestic violence plays in agency decision-making and outcomes.

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Policy and Protocol Review and Consultation

Similar to the data review, many child welfare agencies have not systematically reviewed their policy and protocols from a domestic violence-informed perspective. The Safe & Together Institute reviews policies and protocols in order to assess how consistent they are with a perpetrator-pattern, child-centered, survivor strength-based approach. A final report summarizes strengths, gaps and recommendations for change.

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Systems Assessment

Collaboration across systems is one of the key features that help adult and child survivors. The Safe & Together Institute has helped improve collaboration in the US and abroad. From Thunder Bay Ontario to the state of New Mexico, the Institute has helped communities assess their resources, policies and plans to become more domestic violence-informed.

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