Children's Voice May/June 2008

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What is the Greenbook?

Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice, also known as the "Greenbook," is a set of recommendations designed to help dependency courts and child welfare and domestic violence agencies better serve families experiencing violence. The Family Violence Department of the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges brought together a diverse, expert committee to develop the Greenbook over many months. Its recommendations are being used, formally and informally, by hundreds of communities across the nation and around the world.

Following is an excerpt from the Greenbook's public and policy guidelines for intervening in domestic violence and child maltreatment cases.

Core Principles:

Community leaders should join together to establish responses to domestic violence and child maltreatment that provide meaningful help, supports, and services for families. Simultaneously, communities should hold violent perpetrators responsible for their behavior and provide legal interventions and services to stop this violence.

This first principle is an overriding one from which flows most other principles and recommendations in the book. Other leading principles:
  • Three core values should guide the implementation of this guiding principle--interventions should be designed to create safety, enhance well-being, and provide stability for children and families.

  • To ensure stability and permanency, children should remain in the care of their non-offending parent (or parents), whenever possible. Making adult victims safer and stopping batterers' assaults are two important ways to do this.

  • To provide safety and stability for families, a community service system with many points of entry should be created.

  • Community leaders should design interventions and responses that are appropriate to the diverse range of families experiencing domestic violence and child maltreatment.

  • Every community should have a mechanism to close gaps in services, coordinate multiple interventions, and develop interagency agreements and protocols for providing basic services to families. Existing coordination efforts should be expanded to include active involvement of domestic violence advocates, child protection workers, and community residents.

  • Every community should make a commitment to building internal capacity to respond effectively to families experiencing domestic violence and child maltreatment.

  • Agencies and courts should develop memos delineating the mandates of each system, their confidentiality requirements, and agreements for sharing information.

  • Policymakers and program developers should support the development of information gathering and evaluation systems to determine the intended and unintended outcomes of collaborative efforts.

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