Collaborative Efforts for the Prevention of Family Violence

November 1, 2019

Jenna Reardanz


  • Due to issues of confidentiality that often prevent data and information sharing, the established bureaucratic process often doesn’t allow organizations to collaborate.
  • A lack of communication between organizations often leads to overlap of resource allocation areas. For example, a researcher shared that two different organizations facilitated trainings on essentially the same topic. If they had been working collaboratively they could have saved resources and one training session on the topic.
    • Limited communication and coordination between agencies or organizations is often the byproduct of operating with limited capacity, time, and resources (e.g., understaffed).

Bottom Line:
It is vital to increase communication and collaboration between organizations working to prevent, identify, and address violence.


Potential Solutions

  • Centralizing the location of services would be very helpful in creating collaborative efforts and strengthening communication among service organizations.
    • For instance, some counties have chosen to use a centralized local government building for domestic violence, substance abuse, child welfare, family support, and preservation services. This requires substantial transition planning to address logistical challenges.
  • Schools could also be used as a centralized location in that service providers could identify children and families in need of services and work in conjunction to provide those services. Researchers expressed that this may be a relatively feasible option of centralization.
  • Support the hiring of an individual who can facilitate successful collaboration. This role is often best filled by a consultant who has a main goal of collaboration. Efforts to include this position in funding would be a great step. A person likely to be successful in this role is on who:
    • has a focus on victims and survivors of violence
    • has a vested interest in the success of interagency collaboration and coordination
    • is not tied to a specific, singular agency
  • For example, Humboldt County, CA has developed a system 0 to 8 Mental Health Collaborative, which is a multi-agency and transdisciplinary collaborative. Involved groups have members at meetings every two weeks where they are able to coordinate efforts. Additionally, a monthly newsletter is circulated that allows constant communication.
  • A second example of promising programs is the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) Program. This program is a Federal program as a part of the Social Security Act that aims to support State child welfare agencies in establishing and operating integrated, community- based services for families.
    • Researchers expressed concern that this program may not promote communication outside of the child welfare domain(e.g., pertaining to domestic violence or substance abuse), but that lessons could be applied in inter-organization efforts.
  • A final example of a collaborative system is found in Macon-Bibb County, GA. The program, Macon AIM is a multi-agency collaboration that helps to strengthen efforts and connections between nonprofits and public agencies in Middle Georgia. This program operates on a shared intake, case management, and data system.