child welfare decision making

Using a continuum of practice framework to envision and build domestic violence informed child welfare systems

by David Mandel, MA, LPC At our 2013 New Orleans National Safe and Together ™ model Symposium, David Mandel & Associates introduced a continuum of practice framework to describe the progress from a “domestic violence destructive child welfare system” to a “domestic violence proficient child welfare system”. Inspired by earlier work on […]

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Victim Blaming isn’t the Issue

By Kristen Selleck, MSW National Training and Consultation Director In recent trainings, several participants from both child welfare and domestic violence agencies discussed the issue of blaming the victim. Several advocates talked about their dislike of child welfare workers’ practice of blaming victims for perpetrators’ behaviors. Several child welfare workers […]

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Stories from the 2010 Florida Dependency Summit

By Kristen Selleck, MSW National Training and Consultation Director I attended the 2010 Florida Dependency Summit and, along with David Mandel and Bridget Reilly, met with various leadership staff from DCF and other agencies that’ve been trained in the Safe and Together model. There were excellent stories from these sites […]

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Creativity Aids in the Application of the Safe and Together Model

By Kristen Selleck, MSW National Training and Consultation Director In order to maintain the safety and well-being of children with limited resources and  following policies and statutes which weren’t necessarily developed with domestic violence cases in mind, child welfare workers need to be creative or think outside the box.   This […]

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10 item checklist about the intersection of domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health issues

by David Mandel, MA, LPC Domestic violence frequently co-occurs with mental health and substance abuse issues.   A batterer may be diagnosed correctly or inappropriately with mental health issues.  A domestic violence survivor may also have a substance abuse problem.  A child who has been exposed to batterer’s behaviors may have […]

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Domestic violence training for supervisors produces some positive results

by David Mandel “In child welfare cases involving domestic violence, supervision plays a critical role in determining the quality and consistency of case practice.   The expectations of supervisors and managers, as expressed through their questions and directives, determine workers’ priorities and areas of focus. Supervisors and managers make the critical […]

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Trying to change child welfare’s response to domestic violence? Then support the supervisors!

by David Mandel In the Q & A after a recent conference keynote, an administrator from a child welfare community provider agency posed the following to me: “We’ve trained all our staff in better identification of domestic violence and better case practice but we are not seeing the practice changes […]

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Empathy for victims isn’t the answer (but it’s important)

by David Mandel During Safe and Together trainings,  I often hear some version of the following statement from child welfare workers:  “I can be empathetic to a victim to a point, and I don’t want to revictimize her but my bottom line is the safety of the children.”   The main […]

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