“Systems are most effective when they say to the adult survivor, ‘We want to help you and your children be safer and healthier. Tell us what we can do to help.’” – The Safe & Together Institute
It’s been 32 years since October was first declared as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Still, domestic violence continues to permeate the lives of innumerable families, many of whom are involved in the child welfare system. This month, join us in becoming more informed about domestic violence and how we can best advocate for children and families who are affected by it.
The Safe & Together Institute is a great place to start your learning journey, offering a host of trainings and tools focused on domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence). They are best known for the Safe & Together™ Model, a set of globally used tools and resources designed to help organizations focused on serving children and families to become domestic violence-informed.
The Model has been continuously refined over time as it’s been implemented both across the United States and other countries. The Model was born out of the idea that children are best served when organizations work to not separate them from the non-offending parent, that is, the adult domestic violence survivor.
This approach aligns with Texas CASA’s and the CASA community’s work to provide a team-based approach for children and families. At Texas CASA, we recognize that children experience significant trauma when living in an environment where intimate partner violence occurs. We also recognize that domestic violence survivors encounter grave danger in this situation, particularly as they look for ways of leaving an abusive relationship. We believe in partnering with the non-offending parent to keep their children safely under their care when possible—always keeping the child’s safety and well-being at the center.
The Safe & Together Institute offers a self-paced, online course to introduce you to their Model (note: the course registration is $50.) IF you’re able to, consider taking this training to learn about how to thoughtfully approach domestic violence issues in your advocacy practice, team up with domestic violence survivors and intervene with domestic violence perpetrators in order to enhance children’s safety.
Note: Safe & Together Institute’s online course registration is $50, and the Institute also offers training bundles for individuals and organizations interested in diving deeper. Browse all the courses offered, including free options.