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February 2008Vol. 9, No. 1Helping Courts With the Co-occurrence of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

Protecting families where there is co-occurring child abuse and domestic violence poses a real challenge to courts and social services systems. A new publication, Helping St. Louis County Families: A Guide for Court Professionals on the Co-occurrence of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse/Neglect, provides practical information to court professionals on the overlap of domestic violence and child abuse to help shape their practice to handle these cases more effectively.

The guide was developed as an outgrowth of the 1999 Greenbook, published by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, which provided guidance to State courts on the development of best practices. St. Louis County, MO, was one of six communities selected by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to serve as a demonstration site in implementing the principles of the Greenbook.

The current guide provides information on the context for domestic violence and such specific issues as confidentiality, safety planning, protection orders, visitation, family support meetings, personal bias, and vicarious trauma. It was written by Lauren J. Litton and is intended for attorneys, judges, social services providers, and volunteers working with families in co-occurrence cases. (PDF - 1,140 KB)