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Child Welfare and Child Protection
The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) Child Welfare and Child Protection Initiative projects are a collaborative effort between FCADV, the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Children and Families, local certified domestic violence centers, Community Based Care staff, and other child welfare professionals to provide an optimal coordinated community response to families experiencing the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse. These initiatives establish partnerships in which a Domestic Violence and Child Welfare Advocate is co-located within a DCF or a Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigator Unit. The advocate provides consultation to child protection staff, referral services to survivors, and attends monthly meetings between all partnering stakeholders to develop strategies to resolve any barriers or issues. The ultimate goal of the projects is to bridge the gap between child welfare and domestic violence service providers to enhance family safety, create permanency for children, and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. There are currently pilot sites located in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Manatee, Pasco, Broward, Bay, Gulf, Calhoun, Collier, and Putnam Counties.
In addition to working with local pilot site project partners, FCADV provides technical assistance and training to all certified DV centers and child welfare organizations on building collaborations that benefit survivors of domestic violence and their children. FCADV recognizes the important role that domestic violence center advocates play in ensuring the safety of survivors and their children and supports the State of Florida’s efforts to keep children with non-offending, protective parents. It is extremely important that formal and informal agreements of our collaborative teams do not have negative long or short-term consequences for survivors and their children.
If your center would like to participate in a technical assistance visit to discuss your collaboration with a child welfare agency, or if you currently are working with a child welfare agency and need assistance in strengthening or evolving your agreement, FCADV is available to support your efforts. Now is the time for DV center advocates to engage in the process and provide their expertise in cases where child abuse and domestic violence intersect. Providing collaborative services is a significant part of keeping children safe in the home with the non-offending parent and it is important that domestic violence advocates have a seat at the table.
Please contact FCADV at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about building or enhancing domestic violence and child welfare partnerships.