FVPF eJournal
Futures Without Violence eJournal
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New Resources on Domestic Violence for Home Visitation Programs

1) Home Visitation and Domestic Violence Curriculum

As part of a special Office on Women’s Health funded initiative on maternal child health and violence called Project Connect: A Coordinated Public Health Initiative to Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence (see more about Project Connect in this issue), Futures Without Violence is releasing a curriculum on domestic violence for home visitors. The curriculum is one of several resources that have been created through Project Connect, a special initiative on maternal and child health and violence (see more about Project Connect in this issue). Informed by several years of working with home visitation programs, authors Linda Chamberlain and Rebecca Levenson have developed and piloted a curriculum that includes PowerPoint presentations with speaker’s notes and a supporting bibliography of relevant research. This training resource is designed to be interactive and also includes discussion questions, exercises, role plays as well as accompanying training DVDs. The following topics are covered in the curriculum:

  • Overview of Federal Benchmarks for Addressing Domestic Violence in Home Visitation Programs
  • How Domestic Violence Affects Home Visitation Goals and Staffing
  • Brief Overview of Domestic Violence: Definitions and Dynamics
  • Screening and Safety Planning for Domestic Violence in Home Visitation
  • Impact of Domestic Violence on Perinatal Health Outcomes
  • Making the Connection: Domestic and Sexual Violence and Reproductive Coercion
  • The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
  • Impact of Violence on Mothering and Promoting Resiliency for Children
  • Childhood Exposure to Violence and Its Impact on Parenting
  • Preparing Your Program And Supporting Staff Exposed to Violence and Trauma
  • Fathering After Violence
  • Mandated Reporting for Child Abuse: Challenges and Considerations

The curriculum includes safety cards for clients and a video demonstrating how a home visitor can use the Healthy Moms, Happy Babies safety card (see more information below) to talk with clients about domestic violence and safety planning. It also includes another safety card, Loving Parents, Loving Kids and an accompanying video to support home visitors educating parents about how childhood exposure to violence can affect parenting and steps to take that make a difference as a child abuse prevention strategy. Also included are the First Impressions DVD, a resource designed to educate parents about how exposure to domestic violence can impact brain development, and the DVD, Something My Father Would Do, which features men who describe their experiences of growing up in violent households and how it influenced their lives, relationships, and parenting skills. Pre-training and post-training surveys are also provided. The curriculum and training resources will become available shortly on a combination DVD/CD that can be requested at www.futureswithoutviolence.org/health.

2) Home Visitation Safety Card: Healthy Moms, Happy Babies

Healthy Moms, Happy Babies: Creating Futures without Violence is a folding card that asks questions in a self-quiz format to help mothers to assess if they are in a healthy relationship or a relationship that may be unsafe or dangerous. The safety card also asks about coping strategies and includes information about safety planning and how to get help (national hotlines). This tool folds up to the size of a business card (3.5″ x 2″) and is available in English and Spanish. Safety cards can be requested at www.futureswithoutviolence.org/health.

3) Home Visitation Safety Card: Loving Parents, Loving Kids

Loving Parents, Loving Kids: Creating Futures without Violence is a safety card for women that perinatal health care providers can distribute to patients. In addition to providing safety resources for women, this tool also functions as a prompt for perinatal health care providers by providing quick phrases to improve discussions with women about the impact of domestic violence on their parenting and children. This safety card outlines questions women may ask themselves about their relationships, birth control use and parenting, while offering supportive messages and referrals to national support services for help. This tool folds up to the size of a business card (3.5″ x 2″) and is available in English and Spanish. Safety cards can be requested at www.futureswithoutviolence.org/health.

4) Quality Improvement/Quality Assessment Tool

Futures Without Violence has developed a quality improvement/quality assessment tool to help home visitation programs to measure how their programs are addressing domestic violence. The tool includes sections on:

  • Assessment methods including screening for lifetime exposure to violence and integrated assessment for violence, depression, and substance abuse
  • Intervention strategies for clients who disclose victimization
  • Networking and training
  • Self-care and support for staff
  • Data and evaluation
  • Client education and prevention
  • Resources and policies

This comprehensive assessment tool, which outlines optimal responses for each of the sections, can be used to track progress as home visitation programs implement new violence policies, and is also useful resource for program evaluation. The tool can be downloaded at www.futureswithoutviolence.org/health.

5) Guide for Policy Makers

Futures Without Violence recently released a guide for policy makers on home visitation and domestic violence. The publication, Realizing the Promise of Home Visitation: Addressing Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment, highlights the importance of addressing domestic violence within the context of home visits, makes the connection between domestic violence and home visitation program goals, and describes the overlap between domestic violence and child maltreatment. An overview of national home visitation models includes innovative home visitation programs that are designed to address domestic violence. Practice recommendations for integrating domestic violence into home visiting are outlined for policy makers. The guide can be downloaded atwww.futureswithoutviolence.org/health.

6) Home Visitation and Intimate Partner Violence: Recommendations for Policy and Program Development

The purpose of this document is to build on the strategies described in the Guide for Policy Makers (see item 5 above) by outlining ten core recommendations that funders, policymakers, and program managers should incorporate into home visiting programs. These recommendations, shown below, can be downloaded at www.futureswithoutviolence.org/health.

10 Core Recommendations:

  1. Establish goals and objectives for home visiting programs to address the complexities and continuum of intimate partner violence (IPV) and its relationship to maternal and child health, safety, and wellbeing.
  2. Collect data on IPV and incorporate IPV into all program evaluations.
  3. Incorporate routine questions on IPV, reproductive coercion, and children’s exposure to violence into intake and other program forms and add content on IPV in resources and educational materials for families.
  4. Train staff on IPV and children’s exposure to violence.
  5. Make appropriate service referrals for IPV, sexual assault, reproductive coercion, and for children exposed to violence.
  6. Collaborate and develop partnerships with domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs/shelters and child welfare agencies to coordinate policies and develop best practices.
  7. Build capacity to address IPV by providing culturally appropriate services and hiring staff that reflect the diversity of the community being served
  8. Implement standard practices and safety protocols related to IPV.
  9. Support and supervise staff toaddress vicarious trauma and support those who have their own experiences of violence and abuse.
  10. Engage and work with fathers and father-figures.