Launched on October 30, 2019, the Domestic Violence Co-Location Program (DVCLP) is an innovative and collaborative program aimed at meeting the needs of families experiencing both domestic violence and the child welfare system.
Focusing on improving the effectiveness of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) interventions into the lives of families experiencing domestic violence and supported by local and statewide partners and stakeholders, the DVCLP places domestic violence advocates in DCFS offices to work with child welfare workers and to support families experiencing domestic violence.
The role of the Domestic Violence Co-Located Advocate (DVCLA) is to help build the systemic capacity of child welfare investigative, intact, and permanency workers from DCFS and private agencies to more effectively respond to families experiencing domestic violence. The DVCLA also supports families during child welfare interventions, models and fosters meaningful engagement with the person using violence and coercive control in order to promote sustainable accountability, and facilitates linkages to domestic violence and community-based services. The DVCLP is grounded in the Adult and Child Survivor Centered Approach.
Currently in four locations in Illinois, the vision for the DVCLP is to expand into a statewide program in which each DCFS office in Illinois is partnered with the local domestic violence agency that employs and provides a DVCLA. Following a federal grant and significant investment from private philanthropy, the DVCLP is now funded by public dollars through the Illinois Department of Human Services.
The DVCLP aligns with Ascend Justice’s missions of improving systems for families in ways that are trauma-informed, strength-based, family-centered, and equity-focused in order to reduce harm, transform responses, and facilitate healing.
“The DVCLP is an important part of history that sheds light on the importance of bringing victims / survivors of domestic violence to the table. Acknowledging their thoughts and feelings allows them to be heard. I believe that the DVCLP will have a positive impact for many families. I know it did for me, especially in a time where I had lost all faith in the child welfare system.
I’m excited for the future of this project as it gives me hope that it will help bring healing and resilience to families experiencing domestic violence.”
Parent Advocate/ DV Survivor
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