California Family Justice Center Legislation

California Family Justice Centers, as defined in California Penal Code 13750 are required, under California Penal Code 13751, to implement a formal training program for all staff, volunteers and agency professionals. The training is required to be a minimum of eight hours annually on subjects, including, but not limited to:

  • Privileges and confidentiality
  • Information sharing
  • Risk assessment
  • Safety planning
  • Victim advocacy, and
  • High-risk case response.

The webinars below can be used to fulfill the minimum training requirements.

Confidentiality in a Family Justice Center

Presented by: Gael Strack, JD

Topic: Privileges and Confidentiality

Length: 1 hour

This monthly call with directors of open Family Justice Centers addresses confidentiality and information sharing. The presentation points to safety, privacy, and autonomy and self-determination, designating them as the main goals of domestic violence advocacy and the reasons behind the confidentiality rules. The presentation also examines legal privilege, public records, mandated reporting, child abuse, elderly abuse, HIPPA, subpoenas, and more.

Collaborating with Respect for Information Sharing Norms

Presented by: Alicia Aiken, JD from the Confidentiality Institute

Topic: Information Sharing

Length: 1.5 hours

A successful multi-disciplinary response to survivors can only happen when the professionals involved understand and respect each other. But too often, questions about whether information will be shared becomes an unexpected source of confusion and conflict within inter-disciplinary teams. This webinar aims to clear the confusion about sharing and protection of survivor information by comparing and contrasting the legal obligations and information norms of the professionals co-located in a typical Family Justice Center.

The Danger Assessment: Implications for Women’s Safety

Presented by: Jacquelyn Campbell PhD, RN, FAAN and Casey Gwinn, JD

Topic: Risk assessment

Length: 1.5 hours

This session gives participants background and instruction on how to administer the Danger Assessment (DA) tool to victim/survivors, the weighted scoring for the DA, the resulting levels of Danger and what kinds of safety strategies might be recommended at each level. Participants will be eligible for certification in the DA at the completion of the session and will receive directions on how to obtain and use the certification. The Alliance team will then premiere the release of the Health Services Toolkit, which was based on the use of the DA and developed to help FJCs assess health needs, integrate health services into their Centers, and expand partnerships with the medical community. This webinar is ideal for advocates, medical professionals, and multi-agency domestic violence organizations looking to bring a lens of health and wellness to their work and programs.

Safety Planning: An Essential Tool

Presented by: Donna Mathews, Cindy Cunningham and Lori Gonzalez

Topic: Safety Planning

Length: 1.5 hours

This webinar provides an overview of how to safety plan in a multi-disciplinary, co-located setting. The webinar cover the basics of safety planning, use of safety plans, how to gather essential information from victims to understand their danger and enhance and advocate for their safety. The presenters also use case studies to put key concepts into practice and share how collaborating with others at a Family Justice Center increases a victim’s access to resources and safety.

Strangulation: The Last Warning Shot – What Every Advocate Should Know

Presented by: Gael Strack, JD

Topic: Advocacy

Length: 1 hour

Strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence. Advocates play a key role in explaining the danger of a strangulation incident to survivors and working as part of a multi-disciplinary team to develop a plan for safety. This webinar will show you trauma-informed approaches to using risk-assessment tools, discuss high-risk safety planning and equip Advocates to explain the signs/symptoms of non-fatal strangulation and the potential medical consequences of the event to survivors and ultimately direct them to potentially life-saving medical care. This webinar will provide you with concrete strategies to ensure survivors of non-fatal strangulation receive the vital information and support they deserve.

Utilizing a Domestic Violence High Risk Team Model 

Presented by: Kelly Dunne

Topic: High-Risk Case Response

Length: 1.5 hours

Research has shown that intimate partner domestic violence homicides are often predictable; and if they’re predictable, they’re preventable. The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center’s Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT) Model leverages that predictability by incorporating evidence-based risk assessment into a community’s domestic violence response system to identify cases at high risk of lethality.  Once identified, individual cases are then monitored by a multidisciplinary team that shares case information and implements case-specific intervention plans to mitigate the danger. The DVHRT Model focuses on increasing both victim safety and offender accountability. By focusing on the highest risk cases, the DVHRT intervenes in incidents with the most severe potential consequences while improving the quality and cohesion of the entire domestic violence response system. This presentation will provide a comprehensive understanding of the DVHRT Model with an overview of the research at its foundation. The function and structure of key partners in this multidisciplinary approach will be discussed. Participants will learn how team members work together to identify high-risk cases and mobilize risk management strategies.