Safe and Healthy Families Court Receives Funding to Support Coordinated Response to Domestic Violence in Lancaster County

Safe and Healthy Families Court Receives Funding to Support Coordinated Response to Domestic Violence in Lancaster County

Monday, June 7, 2021

Lancaster County’s Safe and Healthy Families Court’s partnering organizations were awarded a grant by the Woods Charitable Fund to assist in the support and establishment of the state’s first domestic violence-centered child welfare problem-solving court.

Spearheaded by Separate Juvenile Court Judge Elise White, the new court is currently in the application process of becoming a Problem-Solving Court within the Nebraska judicial system.  The grant funds will be used to improve child safety through a more domestic abuse-informed coordinated response by agencies that work with families, to improve partnerships with parents, provide professional development and education for professionals engaging with these families, and hold perpetrators more accountable.

“The work that we are doing, and the way this dedicated team is approaching the Safe and Healthy Family Court cases is a novel approach in the realm of child welfare,” noted White. “The collaboration and improvements this team has been able to achieve thus far have been exciting to witness.  I can only imagine the tremendous impact that this support will have on improving the long-term outcomes for the families we serve, as well setting a standard for a groundbreaking approach to addressing the threat that domestic violence poses to the most vulnerable members of our society.”

The partnering agencies working with this new court include the Family Violence Council; Voices of Hope; Friendship Home; CASA of Lancaster County; Child Advocacy Center; and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center on Children, Families and the Law. The Woods Charitable Fund has pledged $900,000 over three years to provide for staffing and related expenses for the partnering agencies to bolster the work done with the Safe and Healthy Families Court, which provides a coordinated response to child abuse cases in Lancaster County in which issues involving domestic violence have been adjudicated.