Institutional Analysis Reports
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Child Protective Services Response to Battering: A Practice Assessment National Test Site Findings and Recommendations for Practice
Wright County Child Protection & Rivers of Hope, Buffalo, MN
In 2010 Praxis, in partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and The Center for the Study of Social Policy, received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), to create a tool for communities to assess their current child protective services (CPS) practices and linkages with community-based advocacy. Using the Praxis Institutional Analysis process, a draft of Planning and Conducting a Practice Assessment of Community Response to Domestic Violence: Child Protective Services was produced, creating tools for community teams of advocates, child protection representatives, and others to engage in an assessment of the child protective services response to domestic violence, and to incorporate new policies and practices for responding to cases with an overlap of child maltreatment and battering. The guide and assessment process was then tested in Wright County, Minnesota, by a team including representatives from Rivers of Hope, a local community-based advocacy program, Wright County Health and Human Services, Child Protection, and Praxis International. This report highlights the findings and recommendations from this 10-month assessment which was designed to answer important questions:
- Do we know when battering is a factor in child maltreatment cases and its impact on the child and mother?
- What do we know about her strategies to protect her children? Does our intervention enhance or diminish her capacity to protect her children?
- Does our intervention increase or decrease risk of harm from the batterer?
- Is there more we can do to stop the batterer?
Report from the San Mateo Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Assessment: How
Does Documentation of the Initial Police Response to a Domestic
Violence Call Aid Subsequent Interveners in Domestic Violence Cases?
law enforcement agencies stepped forward to participate in a Domestic
Violence Safety and Accountability Assessment: Daly City Police
Department, Redwood City Police Department, and San Mateo Police
Department. The focus for the assessment was as follows: How does
documentation of the initial police response to domestic violence calls
aid subsequent interveners (investigators, advocates, prosecutors,
judges, probation officers, offender program facilitators) in domestic violence cases? Read the following report from their project.
Full report (2 MB)
Henry County, Ohio, Child Custody and Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit
2010, local Henry County courts and community agencies involved in
child custody decisions and the response to domestic violence completed a
Safety and Accountability Audit. Joined by representatives of Praxis
International and the National Custody Project the team conducted
interviews, observed practices, and analyzed case records to examine how
the response to the intersection of domestic violence and child custody
was organized and coordinated, and with what implications for the
safety and well-being of children and victim parents. The Safety Audit
identified a range of gaps and related recommendations that Henry County
began grappling with while this account of its work was being
Full Report (approximately 2 MB)
Child Welfare Practice:
Creating a Successful Climate for Change
and considerations from an Institutional Analysis
After conducting an Institutional Analysis (IA) with the Fresno
County Department of Social Services in 2009, the Center for the Study of
Social Policy (CSSP) was enlisted by the state of California to conduct
Institutional Analyses in the California Partners for Permanency (CAPP)
planning phase. CAPP “focuses on African American and Native American children
who are overrepresented in the state’s child welfare system and for whom it has
been most challenging to find legally permanent and loving homes.” Los Angeles
County agreed to be the next county to follow Fresno County in using the IA to
inform their planning and implementation for CAPP.
Positive Outcomes for All: Using An Institutional Analysis to Identify and Address African American Children’s Low Reunification Rates and Long-Term Stays in Fresno County’s Foster Care SystemIn 2009, Fresno County Department of Social Services (DSS) volunteered to partner with the Center for the Study of Social Policy to participate in a study known as the Institutional Analysis, which seeks to understand and address organizational and structural contributors to poor outcomes for children and families involved in the child welfare, juvenile justice and other systems. Fresno County DSS already has made efforts to remedy many of the findings identified in the Institutional Analysis and has outlined a clear action plan, which is included in the report below.
Full report (893 kb)
Executive summary(173 kb)
Safety and Accountability Audit of the response to Native women who report sexual assault in Duluth, MN 2006-2008
In the summer of 2006, Mending the Sacred Hoop (MSH) and the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) in Duluth, MN conducted a Safety and Accountability Audit to assess how the criminal justice system affects the lives of Native women who have been sexually violated. The audit team included Native women from the community, advocates, the head of the criminal division from the St. Louis County Attorney’s office, the Deputy Chief of Police from the City of Duluth, and the Supervising Deputy Sheriff from St. Louis County. The team rode along with police officers on their shifts, interviewed professionals from all over the system, and cried after conducting focus groups with Native women who had survived devastating circumstances. Difficult conversations were had and stereotypes and biases from all sides were uncovered and confronted. The team journeyed through the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual aspects of Native women’s experiences. That understanding, coupled with a stronger awareness of how different aspects of the system intersect, gave the team the information it needed to suggest positive changes within those systems.
Full report (1MB)
City of Blaine, Washington
Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit: Findings and Recommendations for the City of Blaine
2007, the Commission Against Domestic Violence conducted a Safety Audit
on the police, prosecution, probation and court response to domestic
violence cases in the City of Blaine. The report provides
recommendations and ideas on ways to make improvements in the police,
prosecution, probation and court response in order to provide the most
safety-driven and victim-oriented response possible.
A Report from the 2006 Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit Thirteen
gaps in the fabric of safety and accountability in the City of
Bellingham Prosecutor's Office, the Whatcom County Prosecutor's Office,
and Whatcom County District Court Probation are identified in this
report. The gaps and accompanying recommendations were identified by
trained 10 member local audit team as they conducted a Domestic Violence
Safety and Accountability Audit. The findings and gaps identify aspects
of the prosecution and probation response that need attention in order
to provide the most safety-driven and victim-oriented response possible.
Race Equity Review: Findings from a
Qualitative Analysis of Racial Disproportionality and Disparity for
African American Children and Families in Michigan’s Child Welfare
National data show that
African American children and families are disproportionately
represented in almost all child protective systems in the United States.
Once involved with these systems, African American children are more
likely to be removed from their homes, spend longer periods of time in
out-of-home care, and oftentimes their families have less access to
relevant and helpful social services. In 2007, the State of Michigan
Department of Human Services, along with a working team led by the
Center for the Study of Social Policy, undertook a close examination of
two counties’ policies and protocols to determine the institutional
factors contributing to this racial disproportionality and disparity.
Jackson County, Oregon
Response to Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Cases; Report from the 2003
Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit
audit in Jackson County was conceived to examine the response to
domestic violence by agencies involved in the processing of misdemeanor
domestic violence crimes. An 11-member audit team, comprised of
practitioners from those agencies as well as battered women’s advocates,
met together for two years to plan and organize the audit.They not only
conceived of and defined the audit’s scope, but also woncooperation
from their respective agencies, shared and analyzed considerable amounts
of institutional data, and dedicated hours of their time to the audit
process itself. This same audit team will be central to the
implementation of the audit’s findings and recommendations. 2003 Full Report The
audit work in Jackson County continued in 2005, next examining the
dispatch and law enforcement response to the following aspects of
domestic violence: dual arrests or arrests of women, sexual
assault,stalking, strangulation, child witnesses, and when involved
parties are from under served populations such as communities of color,
individuals with immigration status, non-English speakers, individuals
in gay or lesbian relationships, etc. 2005 Full Report
La Crosse County, Wisconsin Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit Findings and RecommendationsIn
2005, the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) and its
partners initiated a Safety and Accountability Audit in La Crosse
County, the first community in Wisconsin to initiate a Safety Audit.The
Safety Audit explored the following question: How is safety for
victims of domestic violence in La Crosse County built into law
enforcement response and other community intervention initiated by a
call to 911?
Executive Summary 2005 Full Report In 2006, community partners in La Crosse County initiated a Phase 2 Safety Audit that asked: How
do post-arrest and prosecution responses to domestic violence cases in
La Crosse County enhance or diminish victim safety and batterer
accountability? Their findings and recommendations are summarized in the final report. Executive Summary 2006 Full Report
The Northwestern District, MassachusettsThe
Northwestern District of Massachusetts is made up of forty-seven
municipalities, many of them small, isolated rural towns. This 2004
Audit reviewed 911/dispatch through police response, investigation and
report writing. Six police departments were identified as representative
of the diversity of the district. To that, the Audit team added the two
regional dispatch control centers and the civili an dispatchers working
within some of the participating police departments. This report
includes detailed findings and recommendations. Full Report
Bellingham-Whatcom County, Washington
Report from the 2002 Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability AuditThe
Bellingham-Whatcom County (WA) Commission Against Domestic Violence
completed a Safety and Accountability Audit of the criminal justice
system response, from 911 through jail booking and release. The final
report includes 30 key findings and 66 recommendations. Executive Summary Full Report
Community-Based Analysis of the U.S. Legal System's Intervention in Domestic Abuse Cases Involving Indigenous Women This
report contains the findings of a 2000 study conducted by Mending the
Sacred Hoop, of Minnesota Program Development, Inc., funded by the
National Institute of Justice. The investigation, based in the concrete
realities of Native women, analyzed how the U.S. legal system processes
domestic assault and protection order cases in order to explore which of
its aspects Tribal Nations should use for the implementation of
irresponsive to Indigenous women who are abused by their partners. Executive Summary Full Report (approximately 1MB)
Western Australian Safety and Accountability Audit of the Armadale Domestic Violence Intervention Project
The Armadale Domestic Violence Intervention Project (ADVIP), established in 1993, is the first interagency effort in Western Australia to bring the criminal justice system, child protection agencies and community-based advocacy organizations to a collaborative process of intervention into cases of domestic abuse. In 2005, ADVIP members conducted a Safety and Accountability Audit examining three core interventions: criminal justice, child protection and advocacy.
The Audit provided an opportunity for this community intervention project to engage its members in a comprehensive analysis of their interventions and responses to domestic violence. The Audit was designed to allow the interagency team an opportunity to select key points of institutional intervention in domestic violence–related cases to determine how the design of those processes maximized opportunities to protect adult and child victims of domestic violence while holding the offender accountable for the abuse.
St. Louis County, Minnesota
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office in northeastern Minnesota conducted a Safety and Accountability Audit in 1998. The end product in the patrol phase of their audit is the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Handbook and Training Guide for Patrol Deputies.
Handbook and Training Guide
Safe Havens Supervised Visitation & Safe Exchange Demonstration Initiative Safety and Accountability Audit Reports
As a participant in the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Demonstration Initiative, each demonstration site was required to conduct community-based assessments, utilizing the methodologies of the Praxis Safety and Accountability Audit. Through their assessments, the demonstration sites explored four essential questions related to the design and delivery of visitation and exchange services.
State of Michigan: What is the role of a supervised visitation center?
Download full report
South Bay Area, CA: How can the work of a visitation center produce safety for everyone involved?City of Kent, WA: How does a victim of battering who might benefit from supervised visitation services identify and access them?
Download full report
City of Chicago, IL: How does a visitation center account for peoples’ unique cultures and identities?
Download full report
Dowload full report
For additional examples of audit and assessment report, see also
of community assessments conducted by the participants of the OVW-funded
Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Demonstration Initiative
Women’s Justice Project