Online Program

A mixed-methods study of fidelity in domestic violence services

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nicole Janich, MSW, Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Michael S. Shafer, PhD, School of Social Work, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
The benefits of supervised visitation and exchange programs in preventing post separation abuse has been well documented. Research has indicated that abuse tends increase after separation, highlighting the importance of programs to protect the victim and children during this vulnerable time. In 2007, the US Bureau of Justice, Office of Violence against Women (OVW) promulgated Guiding Principles, program standards, and practice indicators for the operation of Supervised Visitation and Exchanges under a program initiative entitled Safe Havens.  Ensuring adherence to these principles will prevent post separation abuse.  A mixed methods approach was used in this study to assess implementation of and fidelity to the 92 Safe Havens practice indicators in a domestic violence agency.  Interviews were completed with program staff and community members.  Program documents including semi-annual reports were also evaluated and summarized.  This information was synthesized to assign a rating or present, absent, or needs improvement to each of the 92 practice indicators.  The DV agency we evaluated was found to have fully implemented 82% of the 92 practice indicators with 15 evaluated as needing improvement.  Those practice indicators deemed deficient reflected a need for more formalized processes and procedures in the area of referral processing and information sharing; collaboration with local courts; sustainability planning; stakeholder awareness raising; and, staff training and supervision.  The OVW practice standards provide a structured and verifiable approach to implementing supervised visitation and exchange services within DV programs.    Fidelity monitoring keeps families safe and provides promise for enhancing the effectiveness of DV services.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe the value of fidelity monitoring in domestic violence programs.

Keyword(s): Domestic Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on national study of implementation as well as local program evaluations related to criminal justice, substance use, and family violence.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.