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Expanding Services for Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence Fact Sheet

Published: May 3, 2012

Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year. Nationwide, nearly half of all residents of domestic violence shelters supported through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program (FVPSA Program) are children. These children, youth, and their parents need quality services to address the trauma they have experienced and to break the cycle of violence. 

The FVPSA Program is committed to expanding comprehensive services for children and youth exposed to domestic violence to ensure that every child receives a trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate response to the violence they have experienced. 

In Fiscal Year 2010, the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) awarded FVPSA grants to four statewide capacity building projects and one national technical assistance provider. These five grantees will serve as leaders for expanding a broader network for support, developing evidence-based interventions for children, youth and parents exposed to domestic violence, and building national implementation strategies that will lead to local improvements in domestic violence programs and then community-based interventions. 

State Projects Overview
Four State Domestic Violence Coalitions will lead statewide efforts to improve practice:

  • The New Jersey Coalition For Battered Women will expand an established model program for children who have been exposed to domestic violence. The Peace: A Learned Solution (PALS) program provides children ages 3 through 17 with creative arts therapy to help them heal from exposure to domestic violence.
  • The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence will launch the Safe Together Project, which will increase the capacity of Wisconsin domestic violence programs, particularly those serving under-represented or culturally specific populations, to support non-abusing parents and mitigate the impact of exposure to domestic violence on their children.
  • The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault will improve services and responses to Alaska’s families by addressing the lack of coordination between domestic violence agencies and the child welfare system. Their work will include cross education and development of an integrated training curriculum and policies. This project will also include creation of a community based multi-disciplinary team in four Alaskan communities: Dillingham, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Kodiak.
  • The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence will launch the Idaho Alliance to Expand Services for Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence. The Idaho Alliance is focused on building and sustaining domestic violence programs’ capacity to deliver trauma informed and developmentally sensitive parent/child services for non-abusing parents, children, and youth affected by domestic violence as well as other trauma.

Technical Assistance and Resource Development
The Family Violence Prevention Fund will serve as a national clearinghouse of information on existing children exposed to domestic violence resources and emerging practices for service providers, State Domestic Violence Coalitions, States and Tribes. The resources compiled by the grantee will be available to Expanding Services for Children and Youth current and future grantees, as well as other domestic violence service providers. The grantee will also have provided technical support, including facilitating peer-to-peer technical support, to Expanding Services for Children and Youth grantees.

Finally, the Family Violence Prevention Fund will work toward developing and recommending nationwide standards for services for children exposed to domestic violence.  They will also assist in developing consistent national evaluation measures for Expanding Services for Children and Youth grantees as well as assisted such grantees in developing and conducting their own internal evaluations. As the technical assistance provider, the Family Violence Prevention Fund will lead national dissemination strategy to share promising practices, outcomes and services.

The Family Violence Prevention Fund will also serve as a support network for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program’s Expanding Services for Children and Youth grantees. They will improve technical assistance and resource development for domestic violence programs and allied organizations serving children and youth by convening expert advisors on services for children and youth, identifying evidence-based and promising practices, identifying and developing training and technical assistance resources, and building standards of quality practice.

Last Reviewed: June 12, 2015

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