As part of the national evaluation of the Federal Safe Start initiative - an effort to expand communities' capacity to address the needs of children exposed to violence - this first phase of the evaluation examined the introduction of coordinated Safe Start efforts in 11 demonstration sites in diverse communities throughout the Nation during the first 5 years of the initiative (2000-2005).
The study found that during this period, just over 15,500 children exposed to violence and their families were identified and, when appropriate, provided mental health treatment and services that addressed multiple needs. Under the design and technical assistance of Safe Start, several key sectors at the demonstration sites cooperated in unique partnerships to facilitate and provide services for children exposed to violence. The key community sectors in these partnerships were law enforcement, mental health, domestic violence, child welfare, and family/dependency courts. The Safe Start Demonstration Project in 11 sites has shown that when these sectors collaborate, services and outcomes for children exposed to violence can be improved. The partnerships facilitated improvements in practitioners knowledge, skills, and tools needed to mount a comprehensive response to these children. Thus, cumulative (2000-2005) evidence collected as part of the national evaluation supports the Safe Start Demonstration Project's theory of change as a process for reducing the impact on children of exposure to violence. Charts show each site's major activities, institutionalization of change, increased community supports, and reduced impact of children's exposure to violence. 3 tables and 28 references
Program Description (Demonstrative)
Date Published: November 1, 2007
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