REQUESTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SPECIALIZED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT WITHIN THE CHILD WELFARE SERVICES BRANCH OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

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WHEREAS, the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse is well documented in clinical research and literature; and

WHEREAS, overlooking domestic violence in child welfare cases can result in catastrophic consequences'for the child and * victim-survivors; and

 

WHEREAS, inaccurately diagnosing domestic violence dynamics in child welfare cases can result in potentially lifethreatening consequences for the child and victim-survivors; and

WHEREAS, inaccurate assessment and mishandling of domestic violence cases within the Child Welfare Services Branch of the Department of Human Services due to a lack of training resulting in thousands of wasted state and taxpayer dollars; and

WHEREAS, existing domestic violence service agencies and Child Welfare Services have failed to enact effective and accurate working collaborations on child welfare cases when domestic violence issues are raised or identified; and

WHEREAS, other states have integrated domestic violence units into their child welfare services divisions with remarkable success with client outcome and worker satisfaction;
and

WHEREAS, there is a crucial need for such domestic violence units within Hawaii's Child Welfare Services; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2011, that the Department of Human Services is requested to create a specialized domestic violence unit within the Child Welfare Services Branch of the Department of Human Services to address and appropriately respond to child welfare cases in each county where an allegation or history of domestic violence has been raised or identified; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Human Services shall submit a report of any findings and recommendations regarding the status, challenges, and opportunities of the establishment of the domestic violence unit to the Legislature, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2012; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Human Services and the Administrator of Child Welfare Services.


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