Safe & Together Project

The Safe & Together Institute’s mission is to create, nurture and sustain a global network of domestic violence-informed child welfare professionals, communities, and systems.  CYFD has engaged the SAFE & Together Institute since 2017 to help implement domestic violence-informed practices and policies in CYFD.  Using the Safe & Together Model, which includes a suite of tools and interventions designed to help child welfare professionals become domestic violence-informed professionals, the institute uses a range of training tools to support sustainability and integration into local initiatives.

"Child Protection Case Workers have their own limitations and confidentiality just like Domestic Violence Advocates. Working together we can guarantee that the same verbiage and language are being used to create this ripple effect toward the holistic view of a family." - Domestic Violence Advocate, Doña Ana County

Kickstarter Collaboration Projects

While they often work with the same families and with the same overall goal of safer, stronger families, child protection and domestic violence agencies’ relationships are often tense and overrun with conflicts around advocates’ confidentiality, the revictimization of domestic violence victims by child protection, and differing philosophies and mandates. The Safe & Together Model, the most used model for DV/CPS partnerships across the country, has a demonstrated track record of reducing tensions and improving collaboration. The Model’s approach to domestic violence perpetration as a parenting choice, and its focus on survivors’ protective capacities, offer a common language and framework that helps bridge differences. The Model’s perpetrator pattern-based approach helps practitioners assess harm to children while supporting partnering with survivors. Both agencies, and their shared clients, are expected to benefit from this pilot.

Doña Ana Project Evaluation

CYFD Behavioral Health Services and the Safe & Together Institute focus on individual counties where approximately 25% of staff in Protective Services and the local domestic violence survivor services agency are led through five months of parallel and joint coaching in the Safe & Together model.  This approach radically improves relationships through shared language, approach, and commitment to families and children.

"This project strengthened the understanding of our roles to help serve the clients in our community. Because of this project, we are now able to communicate more effectively. There is also a clear understanding of our roles and what we can and can't do." - Protective Services staff member, Doña Ana County