Carson City - October 27, 2020
The Nevada Division of Child and Family Services together with Nevada’s domestic violence service providers hosted a listening session in the fall of 2019 which resulted in a study of the programs to better understand the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare in Nevada. The goal of the study was to identify how child welfare workers and domestic violence advocates can better serve families who are involved in cases of domestic violence.
After the session feedback was provided, needs were identified, and three workgroups were created.
Workgroups focused on:
1. Child Welfare policies and procedures
2. Child Welfare/Human Service Agency training
3. Victim advocate training and support
The workgroups include child welfare workers, victim advocates, and child welfare policy staff.
Nine recommendations were provided by the workgroups with a focus on agency action and response, development and understanding of safety plans, more training on how to respond and better understand domestic violence situations for child welfare workers, and training on how to collaborate when working with a family involved with child welfare or domestic violence service providers.
“This process revealed important areas where the child welfare and victim services systems can collaborate in a shared goal of helping survivors of domestic violence start a new path,” stated Ross Armstrong, Administrator of the Division of Child and Family Services. “We are excited to continue this important work toward improved child and family safety.”
Throughout the pandemic, there has been a 3% increase in domestic violence cases in Nevada. In 2019, there were 293 children who entered foster care due to domestic violence and from January to October of this year there have been 269 children who entered foster care with domestic violence as a removal reason.
The study has brought to light the gaps in services and the need for more collaboration between child welfare and victim services.
The next steps include collaboration in adopting the recommendations and creating action plans to deliver on the recommendations by early 2021.
“Both systems, the Child Welfare System and the Domestic Violence Services Provider System, have incredibly dedicated teams,” states the report. “While these key action steps are important, exciting, and necessary, we must be committed to understanding these are just the initial steps in a much longer journey to develop true collaboration on behalf of the children and families that both systems serve.”
Click here to read the full report.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month click here for information on how to bring more awareness about domestic violence.
Visit the DCFS website for more information about Nevada’s Victim Services.
Click here to find a local domestic violence service provider in Nevada.