Domestic Violence/Victim Service Integration

”It is critical that (Domestic Violence) providers be included as full partners in the community’s coordinated entry process. This will ensure that regardless of where an individual or family presents for assistance, they will be able to access housing and services tailored to their unique circumstances and needs.”

– HUD’s guidance on the integration of Domestic Violence Providers into the Coordinated Entry System

In 2020-2021, in an effort to ensure all families have access to timely, equitable and coordinated support to help end a family’s housing crisis, the Family Solutions Collaborative, in collaboration with our four DV/VS member agencies and four of our Family Access Points, worked to integrate the Domestic Service / Victim Service Providers into the Family Coordinated Entry System in Orange County, as a best practice to ensure all families experiencing a housing crisis have access to housing support services in a fair, coordinated and timely manner.

The purpose of the integration process was to continue the reciprocity, working relationships and common goals to integrate our Domestic Violence members into the Family Coordinated Entry System (FCES).

Family Solutions Collaborative

The goals of the integration are:

  • To provide options to families fleeing domestic violence who don’t qualify for DV Provider housing programs in a timely and coordinated way.
  • The DV Providers have the benefits of the Family Coordinated Entry System and benefits of working directly with a dedicated Family Access Point to ensure coordination of their families to receive assistance.
  • Improve the speed, accuracy and consistency of screening, targeting and intake to reduce the average length a family experiences homelessness to 30 (thirty)days or less.
  • Enhance Orange County’s homeless-serving system’s ability to utilize resources efficiently and without duplication of services.
  • Commit to utilizing the Diversion First, Progressive Engagement Approach when working with families.
  • Support and enhance Orange County’s family homeless-serving system and advance systems changes.
  • Commitment to the Collective Impact Model which emphasizes the importance of bringing together a variety of stakeholders to tackle complex issues often so deeply- rooted in communities that no single policy, government department, organization, or program can independently solve.
  • Ensure programs and community response to family homeless needs are best-practice and data-driven and reflect the needs of our community.
  • Improve collaboration and communication between Orange County Systems of Care, Providers, Community and Stakeholders.

Our four Domestic Violence / Victim Service Agencies are: Human Options, Interval House, Laura’s House, WTLC, Inc

Our Family Access Points who work directly with the DV/VS providers are: Family Assistance Ministries (FAM), Families Forward, Illumination Foundation and Pathways of Hope.

Our dedicated Family Access Points in this project and Family Solutions Collaborative staff have been trained on the complex dynamics of domestic violence, privacy and confidentiality. Our coordinated entry process also has s system in place to safely refer the household to the identified victim service provider, preferably with a warm hand-off including a phone calls and transitions to the victim service provider.

We worked with our local HMIS administrator, DV/VS Providers and four of our Family Access Points to ensure the coordinated entry process includes protocols to ensure the safety of all individuals and families seeking assistance, and these protocols specifically address how the families fleeing domestic violence will have safe and confidential access to the coordinated entry process along with safe and secure referrals to appropriate housing and services. Further, we have ensured that the process includes procedures for how referrals will be made to victim service providers that are not participating in the coordinated entry process

We work and consult directly with our DV/VS members to continue to collaborate and work together to develop models best-practices on how we can work together to safely ensure families fleeing domestic violence can do so, with the same benefits and engagement as other families being served.

We are able to have and provide up-to-date information on domestic violence shelters and general homeless shelters and housing options that are best equipped to serve households experiencing domestic violence based on their location, program model, and linkages to other supportive service.

Click here for more information on HUDs guidance on the crucial importance of integrating our Domestic Violence/Victim Service Agencies into the Family Coordinated Entry System.