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October 2010

When Child Abuse or Neglect and Domestic Violence Co-Occur

Acts of child abuse or neglect and domestic violence commonly co-occur within the same family unit. In order for a community's children to be safe, court-affiliated organizations and the community need to be educated about the prevalence of this co-occurrence and be encouraged to develop collaborative solutions that meet the needs of victims and are supported by the community.

Our thanks go to the NCJFCJ Permanency Planning for Children Department and the NCJFCJ Family Violence Department for jointly sponsoring and securing the articles that appear in this issue.

I would also like to draw your attention to two additional new posts:

~Judge Dean Lewis, editor 


Editor's Message
J. Dean Lewis, Judge (retired), Former Member, National CASA Association Board of Directors
Past President, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Summary: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This issue of The Judges' Page newsletter offers information, resources and perspectives to help judges and others ensure the safety of children who are the victims of co-occuring abuse or neglect and domestic violence. Article...


Message from the NCJFCJ Leadership
Maureen Sheeran, Director, Family Violence Department
Nancy Miller, Director, Permanency Planning for Children Department
Hon. R. Michael Key, President
Hon. Dale Koch, Interim Executive Director and Past President

Summary: These NCJFCJ leaders shared their vision of the organization's role in ensuring safety for children. Article...


Promoting Safety in Cases Involving Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment
Z. Ruby White Starr, Assistant Director, Family
Violence Department, NCJFJC  

Summary: The author provides background for understanding domestic violence issues in the context of child abuse cases in this article reprinted from The Connection magazine. Article...


The Role of Judges in Understanding a Batterer's Use of Violence in Co-Occurence Cases
Hon. Steve Aycock (ret.), Assistant Director, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ
Z. Ruby White Starr, Assistant Director, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ

Summary: To protect children from the damaging effects of domestic violence, adult victims must get the help they need without losing custody to the child protection system, and batterers must be held accountable to stop their violent and coercive behavior. Article...


Balancing the Risk and Safety Needs of Domestic Violence Victims
Hon. Steve Aycock (ret.), Assistant Director, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ
Z. Ruby White Starr, Assistant Director, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ

Summary: Understanding the reasons why victims stay with an abusive partner, the nature of how both safety and risk influence victims’ decision making, and the needs of children exposed to domestic violence will help judges and other professionals address the unique safety and well-being issues present in cases of co-occuring domestic violence and child abuse. Article...


Domestic Violence and Child Welfare—How Can Judges Make 'Reasonable Efforts' Findings?
Hon. Janice M. Rosa, Supervising Judge of Family Courts, Eighth Judicial District, NY

Summary: A valuable resource for judges making reasonable efforts findings is the publication Reasonable Efforts Checklist for Dependency Cases Involving Cases of Domestic Violence, which provides bench card inquiries to help judges determine whether there is co-occurring domestic violence. Article...


A Judge's Role in Intervening with Adult and Child Victims of Domestic Violence
Hon. Rebecca Orf, Senior Circuit Court Judge, Jackson, County, OR

Summary: As judges, we must continue to seek out best practices and to advocate for adequate services within our communities to best meet the needs of families where domestic violence exists. Article...


Greenbook Reflection
Hon. Katherine Lucero, San Jose Model Court Lead Judge

Summary: Being selected as a Greenbook site changed the way that Santa Clara County organizations worked with each other and the families they serve. Article...


Moving Beyond "Failure to Protect" in West Virginia
Katheryn Yetter, JD, Senior Attorney, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ

Summary: A collaborative model developed in West Virginia is enabling CPS workers to partner with adult victims of domestic violence and empower them to protect their children. Article...


Seven Ways to Support Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
Elizabeth Whitney Barnes, JD, Assistant Director, Permanency Planning for Children Department, NCJFCJ

Summary: The author provides information that CASA volunteers should consider when working with families affected by domestic violence. Article... 


Advocating for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: A CASA Volunteer's Perspective
Nicole Bates, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ and
Volunteer, DC Superior Court “Preparing Youth for Adulthood” Initiative

Summary: By properly identifying and addressing domestic violence, we present a more holistic picture of the child and advocate for their well-being in a way that is responsive to their needs. Article...


How Are Victims of Domestic Violence Affected by Efforts to Identify Fathers in Dependency Cases?
Emilie Meyer, Assistant Attorney, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ
Katy Yetter, Senior Attorney, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ

Summary: A child welfare agency’s efforts to locate fathers should be balanced with safety considerations, including the recognition that reintroducing an abuser into the dependency process may jeopardize the custodial mother and the child. Article...


Responding to Adolescent Partner Violence
Hon. Eugene Hyman, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Wanda Lucibello, Chief of Special Victims Division, Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office
Emilie Meyer, JD, Associate Attorney, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ

Summary: A comprehensive response to adolescent partner violence—including early and effective intervention, a victim-centered approach and providing accountability and opportunities for youth offenders—can help rehabilitate offenders and prevent future violence. Article...


National Trends in Family Violence Legislation: 2009
Emilie Meyer, Assistant Attorney, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ

Summary: The author offers a sampling of legislation passed in 2009 that may have particular impact for youth exposed to violence. Article...


2010 Model Courts All-Sites Conference: No Wrong Door
Melissa D. Bahmer, MS, Senior Program Manager, Model Courts, PPCD, NCJFCJ

Summary: The 2010 Model Court All-Sites Conference focuses on collaboration across courts that hear all aspects of family law—including dependency, delinquency and domestic violence issues—in order to improve coordination of services to families. Article...


Web Resources: Advocating Best Interests for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence in the Dependency Case Process
Paula Campbell, Permanency Planning for Children Department, NCJFCJ
Emilie Meyer, Assistant Attorney, Family Violence Department, NCJFCJ

Summary: When domestic violence and child abuse occur within the same family, finding interventions that respond to both forms of violence and offer meaningful help that includes protection for all victims of abuse is a challenge. The following resources are offered to help guide these efforts. Article...


The comments of article authors do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National CASA Association or the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

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