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What is a Family Justice Center?
Family Justice Centers are a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who work together, under one roof, to provide coordinated services to victims of Domestic Violence.
Many communities use the name “Family Justice Center” though some communities select a different name to describe their multi-agency service delivery models. Family Justice Centers are specifically defined in federal law and refer to the co-location of staff members from multiple agencies under one roof.
While a Family Justice Center may house many partners, the basic partners include police officers, prosecutors, civil legal service providers, and community-based advocates. The core concept is to provide one place where victims can go to talk to an advocate, plan for their safety, interview with a police officer, meet with a prosecutor, receive medical assistance, receive information on shelter, and get help with transportation.
The Family Justice Center approach is based on the San Diego Family Justice Center model which opened in 2002. The National Family Justice Center Alliance now helps communities develop such centers across the United States and around the world. The Family Justice Center model has been identified as a best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention services by the United States Department of Justice.
The documented and published outcomes in the Family Justice Center model have included: reduced homicides; increased victim safety; increased autonomy and empowerment for victims; reduced fear and anxiety for victims and their children; increased efficiency and coordination among service providers; and reduced recantation and minimization by victims when wrapped in services and support.