Child Protective Services (CPS) and domestic violence centers are two institutions dedicated to ensuring the safety of Texas families. Child maltreatment and domestic violence often occur within the same families, thus CPS and domestic violence centers share many mutual clients. Despite their shared goals, CPS and domestic violence centers have different service philosophies and procedures that can come into conflict when working with families who are involved with CPS and also receiving domestic violence services.
Both CPS staff and domestic violence staff show commitment to improving their communication and collaboration regarding dual-involved clients. In late 2015, four domestic violence centers across Texas began designing pilot initiatives to enhance their relationships with CPS. Overseen by the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) under the umbrella of Project S.A.F.E. (Survivors Are Fundamental to the Equation), the initiatives tested innovative new strategies for cross-system collaboration, including joint trainings, designated liaisons to facilitate communication between agencies, and policy revisions to promote coordinated service delivery.
While this work is ongoing, the first year of Project S.A.F.E. has already yielded important lessons to inform the second year of the project, and other communities interested in improving collaboration between domestic violence centers and CPS. The lessons learned provide a strong foundation on which to further enhance collaboration and coordination for the benefit of children and families who are dually-involved with both of these critical social service systems.
Click for the full brief: Enhancing Collaborative Practice between Domestic Violence Staff and Child Protective Services Staff
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