What is a Domestic Violence Liaison and how do they get involved?
Domestic Violence Liaisons (DVL’s) are specially trained advocates employed by Safe+Sound Somerset and assigned to the Somerset and Hunterdon offices of New Jersey’s Department of Children Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), formerly known as the Division for Youth and Family Services (DYFS). In collaboration with DCP&P, the purpose of our DVL program is to increase the safety of and improve outcomes for children and their non-offending parent/caregiver in domestic violence situations.
Once a referral is made by a DCP&P caseworker the DVL’s job is twofold. The liaison meets with the caseworker to ensure effective assessments and intervention are made to families involved in domestic violence situations. Then, the DVL will reach out to the non-offending parent.
What to expect when you are contacted:
The domestic violence liaison will usually contact the non-offending parent by phone to arrange a meeting. The non-offending parent always has the right to decline talking to or meeting with the DVL. In some cases, the DVL may accompany a caseworker on a home visit.
The meeting between the liaison and the non-offending parent is confidential, with the exception of a few safety concerns. The DVL will provide the non-offending parent with information on the following Safe+Sound Somerset services: safety planning around the non-offending parent’s current situation, child safety planning, domestic violence educational information, and information on Temporary Restraining Orders and Final Restraining Orders (TRO/FRO’s). DVL may also provide information and make referrals to other available county services. DVLs are also available to discuss other concerns of the non-offending parent.
What DVL’s advocacy includes:
Domestic violence liaisons are advocates for the non-offending parent both within DCP&P and Safe+Sound Somerset, and with other outside agencies such as family court. The non-offending parent may request the DVL accompany them to family court to support them in obtaining a restraining order. Again, the DVL’s role is to increase the safety of and improve outcomes for children and their non-offending parent/caregiver in domestic violence situations.
Safe+Sound Somerset is available to answer your questions on these topics and others related to domestic abuse. Contact our call or text Hotline at 866-685-1122 to be connected the appropriate staff person or go to www.safe-sound.org for additional information.