Effective and Promising Strategies and Programs

The "Effective and Promising Strategies and Programs" section of the Action Plan described programs supported by the Federal government to address youth victimization, such as the State Court Improvement Program, unified family courts, children’s advocacy centers, and Court Appointed Special Advocate programs. It also emphasized the importance of programs that focus on family preservation, family support, and independent living; early family strengthening and support; and victimization prevention (Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1996:69–72). Some of the same programs and new programs that support these goals are described later in this Bulletin. This section highlights the proliferation of innovative community-based programs, which have been a major development in the field of violence prevention, early intervention, and identification of and assistance to victims. Several programs have been developed across the country to link mental health professionals with police departments. Five such programs are described below.

The Child Development-Community Policing Program (CD–CP) in New Haven, CT, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), was designed and implemented in 1991 to address the psychological impact of chronic exposure to community, family, or school-related violence on children and families (Marans and Berkman, 1997). The partnership between the Yale University Child Study Center, the New Haven Department of Police Services, and the New Haven County Office of Juvenile Probation coordinates the efforts of mental health professionals and community police officers to reduce the impact of violence on children and their families by providing interdisciplinary interventions to children who are victims, witnesses, or perpetrators of violent crime. The program applies principles of child development and human functioning to the daily work of community police officers to increase their understanding of the impact of violence on children and of ways to intervene more effectively.

Since its inception, CD–CP has intervened in the lives of more than 3,000 children and families in New Haven. Several hundred police supervisors, line officers, and juvenile probation officers have received training through the Child Development Seminar and Clinical Fellowship components of the program. In addition, CD–CP has consulted with and provided direct services to multiple school and child welfare systems in crises.

For more information about CD–CP, contact:

Child Development-Community Policing Program
Yale University
School of Medicine
230 South Frontage Road
New Haven, CT 06520–7900
203–785–4608 (fax)

VIP in New Orleans represents a collaboration between mental health professionals in the Department of Psychiatry at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the New Orleans Police Department. This program uses a systems approach designed to work with the whole community to solve the problem of violence among local youth (Osofsky, 1997). VIP seeks to decrease violence by providing early intervention, counseling, and other services to victims and education and prevention forums to police, parents, and children.

The Child Witness to Violence Project (CWVP) in Boston, MA, operates through the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center. The project is designed to help young children who, as bystanders, are the invisible victims of community and domestic violence (Groves and Zuckerman, 1997). CWVP helps young children heal from the trauma of witnessing violence by providing developmentally appropriate counseling for them and their families and by consulting with and training the network of caregivers in the lives of young children.

CWVP began in 1992 and currently counsels more than 200 children and families each year. It also implements both national and State training for healthcare professionals, police, educators, and other social services practitioners who confront issues of children witnessing violence. The project is staffed by a multicultural, multilingual staff of social workers, psychologists, early childhood specialists, and a consulting child psychiatrist.

For more information about CWVP, contact:

Child Witness to Violence Project
Boston Medical Center
818 Harrison Avenue, T214
Boston, MA 02118
617–534–7915 (fax)

The Honorable Cindy Lederman, Administrative Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit Miami-Dade Juvenile Court, has developed the Dependency Court Intervention Program for Family Violence. Funded by VAWO, this demonstration project addresses, in a juvenile court setting, the co-occurrence of child maltreatment and family violence (Lederman, 1999). Advocates working with battered mothers of dependent children assess the developmental and emotional conditions of the children and plan appropriate interventions to prevent future problems.

For more information about the Dependency Court Intervention Program for Family Violence, contact:

Rubin Carreru
Dependency Court Intervention Program for Family Violence
175 NW. First Street
Miami, FL 33128

In addition to the programs described above, numerous other programs have been implemented by Federal agencies in support of the Action Plan. For example, the Interagency Initiative on Collaborations To Address Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment (commonly known as the Green Book Initiative) is a multiagency demonstration initiative designed to address the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment. Jointly funded by DOJ and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Green Book Initiative is managed by a team of eight Federal agencies and offices.3 The initiative, which includes a demonstration component, a national evaluation, and training and technical assistance, focuses on implementing the recommendations set forth in Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice, published by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). The purpose of the Green Book Initiative is to create and enhance collaborations in selected jurisdictions among domestic violence service providers, child protective services, and juvenile and family courts to enhance the safety and well-being of battered women and their children. In December 2000, six sites were competitively selected to implement this collaborative approach: El Paso County, CO; Grafton County, NH; Lane County, OR; St. Louis County, MO; San Francisco, CA; and Santa Clara County, CA. Each demonstration site receives up to $350,000 per year for 3 years. Policies and practices include cross-system collaboration in identification, safety planning, case management, advocacy, protection, and proper sharing of information; perpetrator accountability; and service provision. The goal of each site is to improve responses that protect and empower women who are victims of abuse and their children.

Additional Federal activities, including other collaborative efforts, are described in the following section.


Addressing Youth Victimization OJJDP Action Plan Update • October 2001