Family Violence Program
The Social Service Department's Family Violence Program provides specialized supervision to offenders found guilty by the court of violent behavior against a family member and who have been placed on reporting supervision or sentenced to reporting conditional discharge. Any charge is eligible when the complaining witness is a family member as defined in the Domestic Violence Act of 1986. Charges of child abuse, child endangerment, child neglect, incest, sibling abuse and elder abuse are also eligible for this program.
Primary goals of the Family Violence Program are to promote abuser accountability in the commission of violent acts and increase the safety of victims. Caseworkers develop individualized interventions requiring intensive reporting and incorporating referrals to and collaboration with community agencies and service providers for such things as substance abuse or mental health treatment. Frequent arrest checks allow caseworkers to respond promptly to any subsequent offense. Caseworkers also contact victims for assessment, intervention, and referral through community-based resources.
Recognizing that violence is a learned behavior supported by societal influences and inequities in power, the Family Violence Program implements a cognitive-behavioral intervention model in the form of group intervention for eligible offenders, as well as making referrals to agencies in the community that conduct family violence groups. Offenders are required to participate in groups and to complete weekly homework assignments designed to promote the integration of course materials.