When home's not sweet.Studies suggest that violence is learned - and may be stopped - not in prison, but at home.
"Building prisons to deal with crime is like building cemeteries to deal with AIDS," says Georgia Senator Mary Margaret Oliver.
Along with building prisons, some policymakers are exploring crime prevention at an earlier stage, before children learn violent behavior patterns - often from their own parents. New evidence suggests that family violence is a major cause of subsequent delinquency, crime and acts of violence. Violent families too often produce violent youngsters. Intervening early in those families may help stop the creation of the next generation of criminals.
A just-released study, funded by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (or OJJDP) is an office of the United States Department of Justice and a component of the Office of Justice Programs. (OJJDP OJJDP Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (federal agency) ), followed 1,000 seventh- and eighth-grade Rochester, N.Y., students for four years. It found that mistreated youngsters who grew up in violent families were twice as likely to commit brutal acts as were children from non violent families. The highest rates of youth violence occurred among youngsters exposed to all three types of family violence - spouse abuse, child mistreatment mis·treat
tr.v. mis·treat·ed, mis·treat·ing, mis·treats
To treat roughly or wrongly. See Synonyms at abuse.
mis·treat and general hostility. Nearly 80 percent of these youngsters reported involvement in violent delinquency (six offenses that include assault, rape and robbery, but not murder) compared to 39 percent of those from nonviolent homes.
OJJDP Administrator Shay shay
[Back-formation from chaise (taken as pl. )]
Noun 1. Bilchik says that we now know that "if we can reduce family violence - not just abuse and neglect - we can prevent future violence by its young victims." The study is the first to compare violent behavior among youths who experience a range of violence in their homes. In addition to child mistreatment, researchers examined violence between parents or intimate partners and family hostility such as physical fights and general conflict. They found that any brutality Brutality
See also Cruelty, Mutilation.
angered by Limoges’ resistance, massacred three hundred inhabitants (1370). [Eur. Hist.: Bishop, 75]
Roman emperor (211–217) massacred many thousands [Rom. in the home increased the likelihood of adolescent violence, but rates skyrocketed for youngsters exposed to multiple types of family violence.
"Policymakers must recognize the social costs as well as the human costs [of family violence]," says former Maine Representative Charlene Rydell, director of the Milbank Memorial Fund's Domestic Violence Project. "It is not a private family matter; this is a societal matter."
VIOLENCE PERMEATES FAMILIES
Family violence has traditionally been perceived in two distinct categories: domestic, generally thought to be perpetrated between intimate partners, often a man against a woman, and abuse of children, either physical, sexual or emotional. Although response and intervention systems focused on one or the other, more recent research indicates significant overlap within families. Some studies suggest that from 40 percent to 80 percent of men who batter their wives and girlfriends also abuse their children.
Unfortunately, the agencies that respond to domestic violence and child abuse are separate and often operate with different goals, clients and approaches. Lack of collaboration can camouflage camouflage (kăm`əfläzh), in warfare, the disguising of objects with artificial aids, especially for the purpose of making them blend into their surroundings or of deceiving the observer as to the location of strategic points. underlying causes as well as potentially more effective solutions to the overall problem of family violence. For example, a child shows up at school with bruises Bruises Definition
Bruises, or ecchymoses, are a discoloration and tenderness of the skin or mucous membranes due to the leakage of blood from an injured blood vessel into the tissues. Pupura refers to bruising as the result of a disease condition. , and the teacher reports it. A social worker investigates and determines that the father physically abused the child and that the mother failed to protect her. The social worker attempts to help the child.
But what if that caseworker had been trained to look for spousal spou·sal
1. Of or relating to marriage; nuptial.
2. Of or relating to a spouse.
Marriage; nuptials. Often used in the plural. abuse? She might have recognized that the mother was a victim as well and that violence permeates this family. Perhaps it would be better to address the threat to both the child and the mother as well as to other family members.
Several states are encouraging cooperation between child protective and battered bat·ter 1
v. bat·tered, bat·ter·ing, bat·ters
1. To hit heavily and repeatedly with violent blows.
2. To subject to repeated beatings or physical abuse.
3. women's services. Michigan, Massachusetts and Hawaii have established programs to identify, assess and respond effectively to both types of abuse, helping to ensure all family members' safety.
Michigan has integrated the Families First intervention program for child abuse and the state's Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. Created in 1988, Families First provides intensive home-based counseling for families at risk of losing a child to foster care due to abuse or neglect or both. By providing help over a four- to six-week period, the goal is to remove the risk to the child, instead of removing the child.
"When we started Families First in Michigan, we began with a conviction that instead of creating substitute and alternate families, we wanted to make a commitment to safe families where parents are equipped to care adequately for their children," says Susan Kelly Susan Kelly (born 15 February 1938 in Oklahoma) is an American model and actress. She is best known for being Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for its May 1961 issue. Her centerfold was photographed by Frank Bez. , director of Families First. "We felt that as public policy, the human cost of unnecessarily removing children from their families was too high."
The program has been successful in keeping children safely with their families and saving state money. For up to six weeks, Family First workers provide intensive counseling, teach parenting and communication skills and often help troubled families with concrete needs such as transportation or housing. The average cost per family is about $4,000, compared to $10,000 to $12,000 for a year of foster care. A cost benefit analysis reports a savings of at least $55 million for the program's first three years. After the first 18 months, more than 80 percent of the families were still together.
Families First workers found that in more than 30 percent of their cases spousal abuse occurred. Kelly took this information to the state's domestic violence board. Even though the two agencies often worked with the same families, they perceived themselves to be focusing on different goals: Domestic violence staff concentrated on women's safety while Families First workers focused on the safety of children. In working together, the two groups soon realized that they had some identical goals: ensuring safety, breaking victims' isolation, holding perpetrators accountable and stopping the cycle of abuse.
"We realized that the best way to keep children safe was to learn better ways to keep their mothers safe," explains Jan Findlater, a law professor and the vice chair of the Domestic Violence Board.
The Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board and Families First are now cross-training workers. Shelter workers ar referring families directly to Families First programs. And family preservation Family preservation was the movement to help keep children at home with their families rather than in foster homes or institutions. This movement was a reaction to the earlier policy of Family Breakup, which pulled children out of unfit homes. workers are also learning to identify and respond to spousal abuse.
Together, the agencies identified five demonstration sites to serve 14 counties around the state. Indicative of the joint nature of the project, pilots were funded with $325,000 from the state's Domestic Violence Board matched by an equal amount of federal funds Federal Funds
Funds deposited to regional Federal Reserve Banks by commercial banks, including funds in excess of reserve requirements.
These non-interest bearing deposits are lent out at the Fed funds rate to other banks unable to meet overnight reserve available through Families First.
"It makes sense to coordinate crisis intervention crisis intervention Psychiatry The counseling of a person suffering from a stressful life event–eg, AIDS, cancer, death, divorce, by providing mental and moral support. See Hotline. services for child abuse and domestic violence," says Senator Bob Geake, a supporter of Families First and the new collaboration. Not only is there a chance to save the state money, there's a better chance to save whole families, he says. "Families surely benefit from a holistic approach holistic approach A term used in alternative health for a philosophical approach to health care, in which the entire Pt is evaluated and treated. See Alternative medicine, Holistic medicine. ."
Advocates hope that the new collaboration will be cost efficient and better protect family members, ultimately reducing demand for other social services social services
welfare services provided by local authorities or a state agency for people with particular social needs
social services npl → servicios mpl sociales . Results to date are promising: Families First has already served 50 families from domestic violence shelters - successfully and safely.
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of has been a pioneer in these efforts. "Almost by necessity we brought the family preservation and domestic violence communities together," says Susan Notkin, director of the foundation's Program for Children. "Our goal has been the safety of the children first. But it has become very clear that children's safety requires the mother's safety as well."
However, family preservation workers said that they weren't adequately prepared to deal with domestic violence - particularly on a short-term basis. The foundation's response was to pay the Family Violence Prevention Fund in San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden , a nonprofit A corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive.
Nonprofits are also called not-for-profit corporations. Nonprofit corporations are created according to state law. advocacy group, to develop a national curriculum for training workers in how to deal with families where a spouse or partner is abused as well as a child. The curriculum was recently tested in Washington, and Michigan will soon use it to train all family preservation workers. Last month the organization conducted a trainers' conference to develop multidisciplinary mul·ti·dis·ci·pli·nar·y
Of, relating to, or making use of several disciplines at once: a multidisciplinary approach to teaching. teams that can teach family preservation nationwide.
"There are clearly things that workers can learn to do to ensure immediate family safety. One effective option is to develop a contingency plan A plan involving suitable backups, immediate actions and longer term measures for responding to computer emergencies such as attacks or accidental disasters. Contingency plans are part of business resumption planning. to use if violence erupts," Notkin explains. Families are helped to plan safety measures safety measures,
n.pl actions (e.g., use of glasses, face masks) taken to protect patients and office personnel from such known hazards as particles and aerosols from high-speed rotary instruments, mercury vapor, radiation exposure, anesthetic and such as enlisting the aid of close relatives, friends or neighbors so that children know where to get help immediately if violence explodes. Workers also may help women obtain restraining orders restraining order: see injunction. , alert police, and connect them with hotlines and other domestic violence services. They also might escort children to school.
But Notkin cautions that preservation programs are no panacea Some antidote or remedy that completely solves a problem. Most so-called panaceas in this industry, if they survive at all, wind up sitting alongside and working with the products they were supposed to replace. for violence within American families American Family is a photographic artwork exhibition by Renée Cox. See also
"Beyond assuring immediate safety, there is a clear need to link families with services that can help change violent behavior patterns," Notkin cautions. "There is little consensus in the field about what changes a batterer Bat´ter`er
n. 1. One who, or that which, batters. in the long term - treatment, criminal sanctions or both."
A MODEL LAW
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is pushing new state policy tackling family violence. Its Model Code on Domestic and Family Violence released last summer was developed by a task force that included legislators, judges, attorneys and advocates.
"Basically, once we identified the seriousness of the problem, we knew there needed to be greater cooperation and training," said former Missouri Representative Kaye Steinmetz, who devoted hours to the project. "Now there is this holistic approach that I believe is terribly important. Agencies don't work well enough together unless the laws require it. It is time for us to think in broader terms about abuse within the family."
The model code calls for procedures to ensure that those who investigate child abuse and neglect also screen for domestic violence. The code further requires state advisory councils on domestic and family violence; training for law enforcement officers, court personnel, judicial officers, social workers and health care professionals; and that hospitals provide information about family violence to parents of newborn newborn /new·born/ (noo´born?)
1. recently born.
2. newborn infant.
Very recently born.
A neonate. infants and hospitalized minors.
Last year, the Colorado legislature enacted an omnibus omnibus: see bus. domestic violence bill that is largely based on early versions of the model code. The state legislation specifically authorizes police to protect both the victim and the victim's children including transportation to a shelter.
Within the domestic violence and child protection systems, opinions vary about the best way to change adults' violent behavior over the long haul Long distance. Long haul implies traversing a state or a country. Contrast with short haul. . As policymakers create a framework for collaboration between the two crisis intervention services, it is clear that comprehensive, coordinated community response to partner battering and child abuse makes sense. In the short ran, early evidence suggests that coordination can reduce duplication of effort and make intervention more effective. Perhaps if we can better address family violence and create safer families, more children will learn that violence is not a normal way of life.
RELATED ARTICLE: A Model Law
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has developed a model law for legislators interested in a holistic approach to family violence. The model calls for:
* Procedures to help social workers screen for child abuse and neglect and domestic violence.
* State advisory councils on domestic and family violence.
* Training for law enforcement officers, court personnel, judicial officers, social workers and health care professionals.
* Requiring hospitals to provide information about family violence to parents of newborn infants and hospitalized minors.
Copies of the model code are available from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, P.O. Box 8970, Reno, Nev. 89507; call (702) 784-6012.
RELATED ARTICLE: Violence is a Family Matter
Programs in Massachusetts and Hawaii link services for child protection and domestic violence.
The Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS (1) (Digital Signature Standard) A National Security Administration standard for authenticating an electronic message. See RSA and digital signature.
(2) (Digital Satellite S ) created a plan in 1991 to integrate domestic violence services into the child welfare system.
The department found that more than 70 percent of child abuse cases involved a battered spouse, abuse that had gone unrecognized or unacknowledged.
Initially, a single specialist was hired to train child protective services child protective services Sociology A state or county agency that addresses issues of child abuse and neglect staff. Now there are 13 specialists who work throughout the state with the regional child protection offices and provide training and consultation. They also work with the district attorneys' offices, batterers' treatment providers and shelters, and help existing child protection teams handle complex cases.
In addition, there are two local interagency in·ter·a·gen·cy
Involving or representing two or more agencies, especially government agencies. domestic violence teams that include DSS batterers' treatment specialists and law enforcement. They promote interagency collaboration and provide case management. Initially financed with federal money, these teams are now primarily supported with a $450,000 annual appropriation from the state legislature A state legislature may refer to a legislative branch or body of a political subdivision in a federal system.
The following legislatures exist in the following political subdivisions:
Hawaii's Healthy Start Program also deals with both child and partner abuse. This program, different from those in Michigan and Massachusetts, focuses on early prevention of child abuse. Families at high risk for abuse are identified through hospital admissions when a child is born, and are offered home visiting services. In addition to child abuse, the risk assessment interview contains questions aimed at identifying domestic abuse, which is reportedly present in about 35 percent of high-risk families.
"We consider it basic training to teach families to put together a safety plan [a course of action to escape abusive situations]," says Ha'aheo Mansfield, program director for the Hana Like Healthy Start program.
Brenda J. Robinson is a former NCSL NCSL National Conference of State Legislatures
NCSL National College for School Leadership
NCSL National Conference of Standards Laboratories
NCSL National Council of State Legislators
NCSL National Computer Systems Laboratory (NIST) staffer who specialized in child abuse issues. Shelley L. Smith is director of NCSL's Children and Families Program.