Multnomah County, OR
Multnomah County Defending Childhood Initiative, based out of the county’s Domestic Violence Coordination Office, brought together resources from across the county to raise awareness among professionals, community members, families, and youth about the prevalence of children’s exposure to violence. The program’s core strategies included:
- Training adults who interact with children in settings like schools, childcare, healthcare and non-profit organizations to help them recognize the signs of childhood exposure to violence and help build resiliency in the children they work with. Since 2011, Multnomah County trained approximately 2,800 parents and professionals in the community.
- Building collaboration between systems including child welfare, mental health, schools, early childhood, law enforcement, juvenile courts and health care to prevent and address childhood exposure to violence.
- Implementing prevention efforts before violence happens, so that children and youth have every opportunity to thrive.
- Supporting Children’s Mental Health and Family Advocacy Services (The Safe Families Collaborative) for families impacted by domestic violence. Multnomah County’s Community Needs Assessment revealed that domestic violence is one of the primary ways that children in the county are exposed to violence. Subsequently, they fund innovative services to support safe parents and their children to recover and build resiliency, ensuring that future generations are safe and healthy.