State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Al Zimmerman
February 5, 2007 850-488-4855

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES BRINGS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ISSUES
TO THE FOREFRONT


- Dozens of legal professionals exchange ideas in an effort to increase awareness of the issue -


         Orlando, Fla. - In an effort to increase education and awareness related to domestic violence in Florida, the Department of Children and Families today hosted "Considering for an Effective Case Plan: When Family Violence Threatens Children" at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando. The meeting was designed to provide a better understanding of the issues and experiences children cope with in domestic violence situations and encourage better communication among attendees and the organizations they represent.

         Offered to those who work with the state's child welfare system, the event was an opportunity to learn more about issues involving child maltreatment, child welfare case plans and offender accountability. Additionally, it was an effort by the Department to increase coordination and partnership between organizations that provide services to families in domestic violence situations. Attendees included Children and Families Child Welfare attorneys, domestic violence specialists, Guardian Ad Litem attorneys and State Attorneys.

         "It is vital that we, as a Department step up and bring advocates, lawyers, and experts together to explore these issues and bring about solutions," said Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth. "This meeting is just the first step to learning more about what children in domestic violence situations go through and how we can better serve them."

Topics included:
  • Legal Issues Relating to Domestic Violence and Children. - presented by Kathleen Loftus, attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County Bar Association.


  • Domestic Violence: A Basic Overview of the History and Impact on Family Violence and Child Welfare Issues - presented by JulieAnn Cochran-Rivers, Domestic Violence Advocate with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.


  • Teen Dating Violence Among Today's Youth - presented by JulieAnn Cochran-Rivers.
Domestic Violence Cont.
  • The Greenbook Initiative - presented by David Mandel, a nationally-known speaker on the correlation between domestic violence and child maltreatment and how to improve legal responsiveness to those professionals working with families experiencing domestic violence.


  • The Yellow Dress - a dating violence prevention program out of Boston, Massachusetts, that includes a professional theatrical production aimed at providing public awareness and education on the dynamics involving teen dating violence.


For more information about the Department of Children and Families' Office of Domestic Violence, visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/domesticviolence. If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, call the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119.


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