Support Services for People at Risk of Domestic Violence

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

This line item funds domestic violence services and prevention programs for clients of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Services are directed at any individual, including a child, suffering from or affected by domestic violence.

Domestic violence includes physical, sexual, psychological or financial harm caused by a current or former partner or spouse, dating partner or household member. Domestic violence services support the individual experiencing the violence and other family members affected by providing shelter, visitation services and other supports to victims of domestic violence. Specific programming is directed towards family stabilization services, transitional housing programs, permanent housing support, counseling for child witnesses of domestic violence, emergency shelter for substance abusing battered women, and a statewide hotline.

DCF assesses each case and must balance child safety without further punishing the victim by removing the child. Assessments look at the child's current functioning, changes in the child's behavior and changes in functioning as a result of the offender's actions. From this assessment, DCF must determine whether community services and support can strengthen the caretaker's resolve and ability to safeguard the child. Connecting the family to social services, school, counseling services, faith organizations, or concerned family/friends may provide the support needed to assist the victim and keep a child safe.

Opening a case may also increase risk of repeat violence to a caretaker and child since the offender may still reside in the household. Informing the caretaker prior to the case assessment and helping to prepare a safety plan to anticipate possible offender retaliation can help reduce this risk.

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