Family Violence Prevention

Program snapshot

Age group: Not age specific

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Families; Victims of crime

Topic: Family (domestic) violence/child maltreatment

Setting: Rural/remote area; Community-based setting; Social services setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The project was designed to address the impact of family violence in the community by engaging victims in support, collaboration, and risk assessment to ensure they have a role in criminal justice resolutions that impact their families.  

The need for an innovative community response to domestic violence is supported by statistics that demonstrate families want to be together (i.e., most families reconcile following an incident of violence). In order to ensure safety, families must be connected to a strong community that is committed to providing resources, education, and support. The Family Violence Prevention program facilitates collaboration among community partners, which includes appropriate risk and safety considerations, as well as treatment and counselling.

Goals

The main goals of the Family Violence Prevention program are to:

  • Engage victims of domestic violence to ensure success in reducing violence experienced in families;
  • Provide collaborative services for the victims of domestic violence to assess risk and inform the criminal justice process;
  • Connect victims of domestic violence to appropriate service providers to prevent further involvement with the criminal justice system and to enhance the quality of family life;
  • Educate and inform stakeholders and service providers about domestic violence;
  • Identify service gaps to inform the criminal justice system as well as the community interagency group; and
  • Reduce the social and economic costs of domestic violence within the community.

Clientele

The appropriate clientele for the Family Violence Prevention program are families experiencing domestic violence who need the opportunity to work collaboratively with a family violence prevention program focused on connecting them to support, information, education and referrals in their community. Participants are referred to the program when charges arise following an incident of domestic violence. Families are contacted, and risk assessment and safety planning is completed. Families are involved in the decisions that will affect their future. Services are attached to families based on their needs and wants.

Information relevant to the criminal justice resolution is conferenced with the Crown Prosecutor’s office, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Alberta Child and Family Services. This is to ensure both the resolution and management of offenders within the community is considerate of the level of risk the individual poses to the families and community.

Core Components

The core components of the Family Violence Prevention program are as follows:

  • Engage victims of domestic violence to ensure success in reducing violence experienced by families:
    • Contact the victim in a timely manner;
    • Offer support and information;
    • Assess the victim's plans for the relationship; and
    • Provide information about domestic violence.
  • Provide collaborative services for victims of domestic violence that assess risk in order to inform the criminal justice process:
    • Contact the victim in a timely manner;
    • Accompany and support victims through the court process;
    • Conduct case conferences with victims and service providers; and
    • Act as a liaison and advocate with other service professionals.
  • Connect victims of domestic violence to all service providers to reduce recidivism:
    • Consider risk and the victim’s wishes to ensure connection is made with service providers and supports;
    • Educate the victim about available community resources; and
    • Provide domestic violence education and information to community partners.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: Develop innovative ways to reach Strathmore residents and contribute in a meaningful way to their quality of life with justice and social service organizations collaborating to address the issue of family violence. Also, attention should be carefully given to privacy legislation and concerns.
  • Partnerships: Strong partnerships were formed between the RCMP, Child and Family Services, Crown Prosecutor and the Wheatland Shelter.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The Family Violence Prevention program was implemented in Strathmore (Alberta) from 2010 to 2013. Funding was provided through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on Family Violence Prevention. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • With an annual investment of $81,000.00, the Family Violence Prevention project has contributed significant financial benefits to the community, partners, and government agencies. The SROI ratio calculated for the program was 2.67:1, which indicates that for every dollar invested in the Connections Program, there was a return of $2.67 of social value created by the program; and
  • Social value was created by fewer children requiring intrusive child protection measures and more men engaging in treatment programs aimed at prevention, leading to reduced requirements on both police and the criminal justice system.

References

Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Family Violence Prevention. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/safe-communities-innovation-fund-pilot-project-executive-summaries

For more information on this program, contact:

Community Crisis Society – Region 5 (Wheatland Shelter)
Wanda McGinnis
Telephone: (403) 934-6634
E-mail: ccs-reg5@telus.net


Record Entry Date - 2018-02-22

Date modified: