• July/August 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 7

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Associate Commissioner's Page

The following is the monthly message from JooYeun Chang, the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau. Each message focuses on the current CBX Spotlight theme and highlights the Bureau's work on the topic.

Many children and youth who come into contact with the child welfare system do so because their families have experienced violence. It is estimated that child maltreatment and domestic violence co-occur in 30 to 60 percent of cases. The effects of witnessing family violence can have a ripple effect in a child's social, emotional, and/or behavioral development. It is important that agencies identify and appropriately serve children and families who have experienced family violence. The Children's Bureau's information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway, offers a web section on domestic violence that links to resources focused on prevention, assessment, treatment services, casework practice, cross-system collaboration, and more and is available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/domviolence/.

More attention is being paid to increased collaboration among child welfare workers, domestic violence victim advocates, and other child-serving professionals. Increased partnership also is happening across Federal agencies. Last December, the Administration for Children and Families, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health, the National Institutes of Health, and other leading health organizations convened the Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Counseling: Research Symposium. The Symposium highlighted the cross-Federal priority to end domestic violence and aimed to assist in the development of effective strategies to support health practitioners providing screening and counseling for interpersonal violence. Thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act, women covered by private health insurance no longer have to pay a cost-share for interpersonal violence screening.

In ACF's Family Room blog, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program (FVPSA), a program of the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB), announced a new campaign inviting men to participate in the efforts to end violence against women. The campaign also promotes a toolkit developed by the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities—a project of a FVPSA resource center—that aims to engage Latino men in preventing domestic violence.

To read more about FVPSA's work to address children's exposure to domestic violence through its grantees, including the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and Futures Without Violence, see the article "The Co-Occurrence of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment" in this issue of CBX.  

Ending family violence and protecting children isn't the work of just one agency or department. This is a serious and preventable social problem, and collaboration among child welfare and related professionals, victim advocates, health care practitioners, and the courts, is necessary to enhance the safety and well-being of battered women and men and their children.

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