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Children Caughtin Cross Fire.Keynote.2009


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Keynote Presentation at the 2009 Child Abuse and Family Violence Summit - Portland, Oregon

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Children Caughtin Cross Fire.Keynote.2009

  1. 1. “Children Caught in the Cross-Fire” Casey Gwinn President, National Family Justice Center Alliance May 5, 2009 Resource Information: Email: Website:
  2. 2. Rose Jovero
  3. 3. Sgt. Paul Starzyk
  4. 4. Improving the Relationship Between Child Advocacy Centers, Family Justice Centers, and Domestic Violence Shelters Understand the History…Looking Forward…
  5. 5. FJC Vision Statement • A future where… – All the needs of adult and child victims are met – Children are protected – Violence fades, – Batterers/abusers are held accountable – Economic justice increases, – Families heal and thrive, – Hope is realized, and – We ALL work together…
  6. 6. Brief Background on the Child Advocacy Movement • Rev. Charles Brace the Orphan Trains • Mary Ellen Wilson Case – 1874 NYC (Led to the founding of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) • Modeled after the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals • 1876 – NYSPCA and NYSPCC merged to form the American Humane Society to protect animals and children
  7. 7. “The child welfare movement was born in paternalism and focused solely on the protection of children, not the protection of battered women” Charles Wilson, Director, Chadwick Center for Children and Families, San Diego (former Director of the National Children’s Advocacy Center
  8. 8. Brief Background on the Domestic Violence Movement • Survivor-Driven • Born in a Rejection of Paternalism • Primarily focused on the protection of battered women • Not aligned with the child welfare movement in its philosophy, history, or operations…
  9. 9. The History • The Women’s Movement • The Battered Women’s Movement • The Civil Rights Movement • The Modern Domestic Violence Movement • The Choice to Recruit the Criminal Justice System • The Choice to Reach Out to Men • The Evolution Toward Co-Located Services
  10. 10. The Future…The Greenbook Initiative…Child Advocacy Centers focusing on DV Victims…Child Advocacy Centers and Family Justice Centers… Working collaboratively…
  11. 11. Reaching the Vision is not an event… It is a long journey…
  12. 12. How often are they present? 1992 New York Study Children Are Present in 68% of All Reported Domestic Violence Incidents
  13. 13. The Reality • 3.3 to 10 million children witness domestic violence each year • 54% of all child abductions occur in the context of domestic violence • 75% of the children of divorced parents report witnessing domestic violence • 70% of shelter children are victims of physical abuse or neglect • Brain development is dramatically impacted by trauma exposure
  14. 14. The Research • 6% of pregnant women are battered (CDC 1997 Study) • Children of DV/CA homes are 6x more likely to commit suicide; 24x more likely to be sexually assaulted; 60x more likely to be involved in delinquent behavior • Male children witnessing any DV: At least three times more likely to become abusers • Children of most violent homes: 1000x more likely to become abusers • Dr. Harry Chugani: “We can have individuals who, based on early experiences, are in effect quot;hard-wiredquot; for negative behaviors.” • Dr. Bruce Perry: Persistent fear response; hyper-arousal; disassociation; disrupted attachment process; neglect; lack of stimulation – results in limited capacity for empathy, learning disabilities, depression, lack of neural development and brain growth. • Resiliency research…is very promising…(Werner, Smith 1982, 1998, 2001); (Katz & Windecker-Nelson,2006) • ( – Child Welfare Information Gateway)
  15. 15. Resources • The Link Research Project: Understanding the Link Between Child Maltreatment and Woman Battering Provides up-to-date information on current research, practice, and promising intervention models with families experiencing domestic violence and child abuse and neglect. • Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody Comprehensive publications and technical assistance to the fields of domestic violence, child protection, and custody regarding policy and practice issues inherent in work with children exposed to domestic violence. • Child Witness to Violence Project Offers general information about the effects of domestic violence on children, statistics, and the Report on Violence and Children. • The quot;Greenbookquot; Federal Initiative Provides resources and information regarding the six federally funded communities implementing the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges guidelines, Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice.
  16. 16. But the Silos are difficult to penetrate…
  17. 17. The Family Violence Program at Children’s Hospital • 1989 - Assigned Advocates to Battered Women to Support Them in Family Court, Criminal Court, Juvenile Court • Where Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Were Present in the Relationship • Court Support • Safety Planning
  18. 18. Partnership with City Attorney and Family Violence Program • Longer sentences with advocates in court • Study showed victims were less likely to recant with support from FVP • Prior history far more extensive than prior police contacts • High prevalence of sexual assault • Identification of high risk cases was easier
  19. 19. •The San Diego Family Justice Center…
  20. 20. Informed by… • Child Advocacy Centers • Evidence-based practices • Multi-Disciplinary Work of DV Shelters • Survivors • Long history of collaborative work between the domestic violence and child abuse communities in San Diego County
  21. 21. San Diego Grand Opening – October 2002
  22. 22. San Diego Family Justice Center District City Attorney Attorney Chaplains SDVLP HOME Forensic START Medical Children’s SDPD Unit CCS Hospital DV Unit UPAC Human SDPD Trafficking APS Elder Travelers FJC Aid Dept SDFJC Foundation Clinical CTAP Program PFJCI Victim Witness CAMP CWS Probation HOPE Military Teen Volunteer SD Program Court Deaf MHS
  23. 23. Creating a Supportive Family Environment… • Client enters the Front Porch at the Family Justice Center and checks in with the Receptionist.
  24. 24. San Diego FJC Dining Room
  25. 25. Living Rooms and Dens • Intake Advocate greets Client, conducts a Client Assessment, develops a Safety Plan, and determines needed services
  26. 26. Children’s Room
  27. 27. The Greatest Challenge: Culture Change • Before: • After:
  28. 28. FMU Facilities
  29. 29. San Diego FJC FMU Facilities • Spacious Bathroom Facilities • New fixtures • Discrete
  30. 30. The Chadwick Center (CAC) Family Violence Project Team at the San Diego Family Justice Center… Opened September 2004
  31. 31. Meeting the Needs of Children… • Children’s Hospital’s Chadwick Center (CAC) – Service Provider • Goals: Provide all necessary children’s services on-site… – Forensic exams – Interviews – Therapy/Counseling
  32. 32. Central to the FJC Vision… Camp HOPE C
  33. 33. Camp Hope for Children Impacted by Family Violence • To heal • To give hope • To have fun Go to:
  34. 34. Tepee Village & Meeting Circle
  35. 35. Water Play
  36. 36. Water Play
  37. 37. Water Play - Kayaking
  38. 38. Fishing
  39. 39. Catching Frogs
  40. 40. Serenity Lodge at Camp HOPE
  41. 41. The San Diego Family Justice Center… • Police Department Domestic Violence Unit • City Attorney’s DV Unit/District Attorney’s Family Protection Division • 25 on-site and off-site public and private agency partners • TRO Clinic, Counseling, Food, Housing Assistance, Transportation, Cell phones, Shelter advocates, Disability community advocates, System advocates, Military advocates, Probation, DA Victim/Witness, and Services for Children, Mentoring • Forensic Medical Unit (Sharp’s Grossmont Hospital and UCSD Medical Center) • Strong Volunteer Team, including Chaplains and Chaplains Assistants • Camping, Early Intervention with Juvenile Offenders, Mentoring • 120 professionals on-site daily focused on DV • Evaluation Committee – Focus Groups with Clients
  42. 42. Client Focus Group Primary Response “What took you so long?”
  43. 43. Initial Outcomes The San Diego Family Justice Center: What are we seeing?
  44. 44. Family Justice Center – Initial Outcomes • Natural client peer support • Broad cross-section of victims/clients • “Dropping charges” significantly reduced (30/70) • Client support/safety dramatically increased • Less focus on criminal justice system as sole or primary response • Strong sense of “community” developing among service providers • Collaboration, Efficiency • 30, 22, 18, 13, 9, 7, 5, 5, 3 in 2008…Aiming for ZERO in one year…
  45. 45. Survivor VOICES Sally quot;You all made an extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing experience bearable. I found this setting to be very comfortable and the staff very professional including the volunteers.quot; Carolyn Marshall quot;The chaplain was a great inspiration. I have future goals to accomplish with God! Thank you and I will one day offer my assistance to help others who are victims.quot; DeeAnn quot;You provided very good support. I needed something to do with my hands. Someone went and brought me a deck of cards!quot; Nicole quot;I feel so much better. I thought that there were no group resources available, but now that I've come here, I'm more relieved that your helpful services are here to assist me in these matters. Thank you and God bless.quot; Tammie quot;I came in this morning worried and dreading this experience. But the staff and workers here helped me leave here with hope. Thank you very much.quot; Robert quot;This program is wonderful for us. It's very rare that this kind of thing happens to me but this place is helping me get through this. Thank you very much.quot; Natalie quot;The place is a warm environment. The people are very friendly, helpful and professional and I am thankful this place exists.quot; Sherry quot;Everyone was very polite, friendly and professional and understanding. The lounge area was so cheerful and fun and the children's playroom was fantastic.quot;
  46. 46. Survivor VOICES Marie quot;I felt I was safe, not pushed or intimidated. It was a great experience and they even fed me. I was hungry too. I enjoyed seeing my girls be kids again. I was apprehensive coming in thinking I could do this on my own. Thanks for your help in making me feel at ease.quot; Amber quot;As embarrassing as the incidents were, I was made to feel comfortable and was not judged. Greatly appreciated the assistance. I was utterly flabbergasted. The entire process was family friendly, organized and professional, yet nurturing and caring. Everyone treated me with dignity and respect. They even fed me and thought about my children who weren't even here at the Center. Why hasn't this Center been available for us before?! And I thank you for your patience and kindness. God be with you.quot; Tim quot;All of my questions were answered and I was informed of procedures and the way the process works. This is new to me but it's been easy for me to grasp the process because of the assistance. I felt a sense of hope when I came here.quot; Andrea quot;I liked the purple outfits!!!quot; Catherine quot;I felt at ease. They assured me several times I came to the right place. It seemed everyone did their best possible job. Thank you for all the help.quot; Todd quot;You guys are very great people, thank you, and God bless you! The people here are the only people that seemed to care and understand my situation. I can't thank them enough for listening to me and believing in me. Domestic abuse in the gay community is just as painful and serious as any other form of domestic violence, but usually no one cares.quot;
  47. 47. Fundamental Principle: You cannot protect children if you do not protect their mothers…
  48. 48. Key Question: Are You Planning for the Safety of the Children in All DV cases? • Safety Plans for Kids • Support Groups for Kids
  49. 49. And on the other side… a key question: • Are you planning for the safety of mothers in all child abuse cases? • Do you have specially trained domestic violence advocates working as full partners in your child advocacy system? • Are DV Survivors Central to Your CAC Vision and Child Welfare Vision? • Beware of the Benevolent Batterer Syndrome
  50. 50. Promising Practices • Co-locating domestic violence advocates in child welfare offices for case consultation and supportive services • Developing cross-system protocols and partnerships to ensure coordinated services and responses to families – E.g. The Greenbook Initiative ( • Co-located service delivery such as the Family Justice Center model • Instituting family court models that address overlapping domestic violence and child abuse cases • Cross training domestic violence and child welfare advocates regularly • Creating domestic violence units in child welfare agencies with survivor-centered service delivery philosophy • Case conferencing with DV professionals on co-occurrence cases to avoid removal of children whenever possible
  51. 51. Innovative Approaches • National Children’s Advocacy Center • Ouachita Parish FJC • St. Joseph County FJC Vision • Hillsborough County FJC • San Diego FJC/YWCA/Chadwick CAC Vision
  52. 52. •The Long-Term Vision: CAC + FJC + Shelters Working Together in Every Way Possible
  53. 53. • Proceeds help support the International FJC Alliance in its work around the world on behalf of victims and their children
  54. 54. Hope for Hurting Families III : A Guide to Co-Located Services in the Middle East
  55. 55. Reminders for Dreamers • Be Focused and Persistent • Be Overcomers: Politics, Turf Issues, Competing Priorities, Enemies, Money, and Personality Conflicts • Bringing together Child Advocacy services and Domestic Violence services is NOT EASY! • Stay Humble • Learn from past mistakes • Listen to advocates/survivors • Always aspire, never settle • Beyond services…what is your Camp Hope?
  56. 56. Dream Big!
  57. 57. Thank you!