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									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.




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