Family Violence Prevention and Services

The Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA) Program supports the national network of domestic violence services, which consist of nearly 2,500 domestic violence programs, state domestic violence coalitions, national resource centers and the national hotline. The FVPSA Program works on efforts to link this network of domestic violence services to human services programs administered by HHS. These include: 

Child Support Programs

Working with the Office of Child Support Programs (OCSP), FVPSA coordinates training, policy and programmatic efforts to address domestic violence in the child support context. Joint efforts focus on promoting training and technical assistance to increase domestic violence screening, improve caseworker understanding of a range of options for safe enforcement of protection orders and increasing partnerships with local domestic violence programs. Efforts to date include:

  • Consultation on domestic violence policy options and program development for the prisoner  reentry program to address safe enforcement of child support in cases of domestic violence
  • Expanded training and technical assistance by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence focusing on access to public benefits (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, child support, etc.) and competent practice in cases involving domestic violence
  • Creating a joint work plan for expanding collaboration to support federal guidance to state child support agencies and to provide web-based training and technical assistance
  • Partnering to support OCSE and the Children’s Bureau’s efforts to ensure that electronic data exchanges between state and federal agencies comply with confidentiality requirements and victim safety best practices

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Child Welfare

Within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, FYSB and the Children’s Bureau (CB) have collaborated on the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment. One  major interagency initiative is the Greenbook Project, which promoted cross-system best practices. Current efforts focus on:

  • Initiatives that promote information exchange and join planning among agencies that address the needs of children exposed to domestic violence.
  • Collaboration between the Children’s Bureau and the FVPSA Program on Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act reauthorization implementation

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Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

FVPSA works with the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) to improve access for domestic violence survivors to TANF Assistance.

Current activities include funding the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence to enhance training and technical assistance for domestic violence programs and TANF jurisdictions. This includes webinars, conference presentations and the development of guidance and work aids. These efforts both help social service providers improve client access to TANF benefits, and they help these same providers respond effectively when TANF clients are victims of domestic violence.

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Asset Building for Victims of Domestic Violence

HHS launched a new coordinated effort to ensure that more victims of domestic violence:

  • File for federal refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Use low-cost tax preparation services
  • Use tax time as an opportunity to access tools like savings bonds that help them save for the future.

The FVPSA Program helps expand advocates’ knowledge of financial educationthat meets the needs of domestic violence victims. We provide specialized resources to help domestic violence programs build strong partnerships with tax experts in their communities.

HHS also expanded their Asset Building programming to include a focus on the economic challenges of domestic violence survivors. The Asset Building for Domestic Violence Victims Project was created to expand the network of IDA programs, asset building experts, and domestic violence service providers who help victims of domestic violence benefit build assets. The Division of Family Violence Prevention has partnered with the Assets for Independence (AFI) Program to build financial training capacity inthe domestic violence field.. We are also committed to the development of policies and guidelines that will comprehensively address the needs of domestic violence victims and ensure that asset-building services are accessible to them.

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Increasing Head Start Families’ Connections to Services

The Office of Head Start is working in collaboration with the Division of Family Violence Prevention to reach out to pregnant women and parents of young children to prevent and respond to domestic violence.. In January, Head Start Centers in six states (Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, and South Carolina) launched a community-based Safe Families, Safe Homes early education curriculum. This effort will help Head Start staff and community partners identify and respond to young children exposed to violence, build collaborative partnerships with domestic violence services providers, and increase connections to services. The Division of Family Violence has provided  training, technical assistance and relationship building with domestic violence coalitions.

HHS also sent guidance to thousands of Head Start and other early childhood programs across the country urging them to address domestic violence by providing these programs with information about the Safe Families, Safe Homes curriculum and other available resources. 

Head Start Program

We are collaborating with the Office of Head Start to achieve universal domestic violence awareness among Head Start Center staff . Our goal is to increase staff capacity to identify domestic violence, understand its impact on families and children and increase ability to make appropriate service referrals. Recent activities include:

  • Providing domestic violence website and e-blast content for Head Start Centers, including tips for working with children affected by domestic violence, making referrals and national hotline information
  • Disseminating information (webinars, website and conferences) on an existing domestic violence curriculum to expand cross-disciplinary training by teams of state Head Start personnel and domestic violence coalitions
  • Pilot testing domestic violence curriculum with Tribal Head Start personnel in the Eight Northern Pueblo Tribes
  • Promoting collaboration through annual Head Start training needs assessments and conference presentations for Head Start state collaboration directors and state domestic violence coalitions

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Examining the Health Consequences of Domestic Violence

Working in partnership with the Family Violence Division and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), our staff has increased opportunities to learn about the connections between health and intimate partner violence, particularly postpartum depression and domestic violence.

Our collaboration has resulted in training for federal employees, representation on HRSA’s Expert Steering Committee and increased collaborations with HRSA’s Violence Prevention Work Group. The Family Violence Prevention Division also connected our grantee, the Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence, with HRSA to expand the capacity of HRSA staff and grantees to address the health impact and consequences of intimate partner violence and reproductive coercion. We have provided awareness resources, training materials and practitioner tools to more than 350 HRSA staff and grantees.

HRSA staff members along with their grantees have received a broad range of domestic violence training through webinars facilitated by Family Violence Prevention Division staff, which covered the topics of health and intimate partner violence, addressing domestic violence in home visitation programs, reproductive coercion, adolescent health and teen dating violence.  

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Other Collaborative Efforts

In addition to these examples, the FVPSA Program supports grants for dating violence and runaway and homeless youth program collaborative projects. FVPSA-funded training and technical assistance resource centers and institutes develop and promote domestic violence-informed programming in home visitation programs, public health settings, fatherhood programs, mental health services, prisoner reentry programs and many other settings.

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