Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment
When authorities respond to domestic violence situations, children in those violent households often are removed to foster care for their own protection. Yet these well-intentioned efforts can be more harmful than helpful by separating kids from the victimized parent, typically their mothers. The Center is coordination an effort aimed at improving understanding, communication and coordination in these situations. The project is a follow-through to the 2006 Washington State Coordinated Response Project, in which CCYJ President Bobbe Bridge played a key role. That effort established statewide guidelines for protocols and coalitions among law enforcement, courts, Child Protective Services and social service organizations to coordinate responses to domestic violence incidents involving children. The Center is tracking regional results of those efforts to identify and share successes while also determining roadblocks and how to overcome them. Eventually, the Center will bring together a think tank of local stakeholders who can work to move successful protocols forward statewide.