news Colorado Judicial Branch Mary J. Mullarkey, Chief Justice Gerald Marroney, State Court Administrator ________________________________________________________________________ March 15, 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Karen Salaz 303/837-3633 1-800-888-0001 Ext. 633 Denver Juvenile Court implements domestic violence protocol in dependency and neglect cases A domestic violence protocol is now being implemented in Denver Juvenile Court after more than 18 months of multi-disciplinary collaboration to develop the procedure. The protocol establishes a coordinated response procedure in dependency and neglect cases involving domestic violence. It outlines critical services and recommended practices that are available to protect children. “When we realized that we needed additional tools to help our families deal with domestic violence issues, we solicited the help of various agencies that handle these issues day-in and day-out,” says Magistrate Kathleen Janski, the Denver Juvenile Court magistrate who presides over every new dependency and neglect case that is filed in Denver. “The outcome was just what we hoped for – a protocol that addresses all our concerns.” The protocol is currently being provided to Denver Juvenile Court judges and magistrates, dependency and neglect contract attorneys, Denver Department of Human Services caseworkers, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), and others who may affect the outcome of dependency and neglect cases that includes an element of domestic violence. Implementation is already underway. Components of the protocol include identifying pre-hearing considerations such as reviewing needs of the victim and children, potential court orders available to be used in these types of situations, making advocates available to meet with the parent(s), developing a safety plan for the non-offending parent as well as each child in the family, and identification of resources and providers available to help. The protocol also includes referring perpetrators to domestic violence offender treatment, according to Cheryl Milliken, Domestic Violence Offender Management Board program administrator. “The treatment is significantly different from anger management classes. Offender treatment addresses the perpetrator’s power and control issues, identifies their abusive behaviors and promotes learning healthy attitudes as well as offender self-management techniques,” says Milliken. Each of the disciplines identified in the protocol will provide specialized components. Some of the key areas for the courts include ascertaining any companion criminal or civil cases involving the parents; issuing appropriate protective, protection and parenting time orders; helping identify safety concerns in the courtroom; guardian ad litem and victim advocate referrals; assessing the necessity of court-ordered support to maintain the household; and review of domestic violence treatment progress reports. Magistrate Janski further states, “The collaboration with SafeHouse Denver and Project Safeguard with advocates appearing at our hearings, along with the sensitivity of the Denver Department of Human Services caseworkers, has dramatically enhanced our ability to deal with our families.” Collaborating in the project were AMEND (Abusive Men Seeking New Directions), Denver CASA, Denver City Attorney’s Office, Denver Department of Human Services (DDHS), Denver District Attorney’s Office, Denver Domestic Violence Task Force, Denver Juvenile Court, Domestic Violence Offender Management Board, Healing from the Heart, Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR), Project Safeguard, and SafeHouse Denver. This information is provided as an e-mail service of the Colorado State Judicial Branch, Office of State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania Street, Suite 300, Denver, Colo. 80203. To discontinue this service or update your e-mail address, please respond to this message with your name, contact information and any comments.
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