IFVCC Projects

Family Violence Coordinating Councils, at both the state and local/circuit levels, provide a forum to improve the institutional, professional and community response to family violence including child abuse, domestic abuse, and elder abuse. Councils provide professional education and prevention; coordinate interventions and services for victims and perpetrators; and contribute to both the improvement of the legal system and the administration of justice.

Grant to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Orders of Protection

In 2011, IFVCC was awarded the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women Grant to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Orders of Protection. Those funds allowed IFVCC to revise the 2008 Domestic Violence Protocol for Law Enforcement, Prosecution and the Judiciary; create a training curriculum based on those protocols. Regional trainings were held throughout the state for cross-discipline teams from each circuit to train law enforcement and prosecutors at the local level. IFVCC also developed Elder Abuse and Abuse of Persons with Disabilities Protocols for law enforcement and prosecutors as well as a training curriculum. Regional Trainings of Trainers were held for circuit teams and local trainings were held throughout the state.

Over 4,300 criminal justice professionals were trained statewide. Arrest Grant trainings continue to be held throughout the state.

Model Protocols

  • Prosecutor Protocol for Responding to Victims with Disabilities and Older Adults Who Experience Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation
  • Please contact local council coordinator for PowerPoint versions, if interested.

In 2014, IFVCC was awarded a renewal of the Arrest Grant, which allows for additional training, implementation and follow-up with local jurisdictions on the protocols. Utilizing the model protocols, the IFVCC Arrest Grant Advisory Statewide Committee are developing toolkits for first responders (911/Dispatchers and Emergency Medical professionals), court personnel (Circuit Clerks office personnel and Court Security/Bailiffs) and Probation. Guidelines will be distributed statewide through the Local FVCCs. By developing and providing resources and toolkits for other associated disciplines, the coordinated community response effort will be strengthened along with the ongoing implementation of the protocols.

Mini Toolkits

If you have any questions please contact Mary Ratliff at: Mary.Ratliff@Illinois.gov

Arrest Grant Advisory Committee

This committee serves to advise on and steer grant activities in accordance to the approved goals and objectives.

Members of the Advisory Committee have the following goals/objectives:

  • Develop and implement technical assistance plan for Arrest Grant activity in the local family violence coordinating councils.
  • Develop feedback mechanism for trainings on Model Domestic Violence Protocol for Law Enforcement, Prosecution, and the Judiciary, and the Protocol for Law Enforcement: Responding to Victims of Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation implementation, including successes and barriers.
  • Develop promising practices (based on Model Protocols) for 1st responders, emergency medical services, probation and court personnel.
  • Develop online training curriculum for each protocol – for orientation of new professionals and delivering updated information.
  • Support the development of the Illinois Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women in order to support the law enforcement community’s leadership development on the issue of violence against women.
  • Promote and improve the coordinated community response to domestic violence cases involving military.
  • Assure participation and coordination of local organizations in training, implementation and evaluation of the protocols.

Elder Sensitivity Training

According to the Illinois Department on Aging, about 4 to 5 percent of senior citizens experience some kind of mistreatment, but only about 1 in 13 cases of elder abuse are ever reported. Of the seniors abused, almost 35 percent were living with their abusers. Of the abusers, 40 percent were children of the victim.

While specialized courts and services are continuing to be established throughout the state of Illinois for victims of domestic violence, the question remains – what is being done for older adults trying to navigate the court, criminal justice and social service systems?

In addition, what resources and training exist for the community (clergy, health care providers, bankers, in-home care workers, nursing home personnel, and social service providers) to better respond to elder abuse?

In order to make those in our communities more aware of the special needs of the elderly, the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council’s Responding to Elder Abuse Committee has designed a training format along with a kit to be used by FVCC members to train others to be more sensitive to their elderly clients and associates.

There are few businesses or agencies that do not have any interaction with the older population. And there are employees that do not understand aging issues and, therefore, are not effective in dealing with elderly clients. These employees become frustrated with older adults’ slow movements, misinterpretation of directions and inability to hear everything that is said.

Training with the IFVCC Awareness of the Special Needs of the Elderly Kit for business staff has increased the employees’ sensitivity to the needs of older adults, and changes in the business environment and strategies for communication have occurred, resulting in enhanced customer service. The staff members of these organizations are now equipped with sensitivity, knowledge and skills for dealing with the elderly and have a better understanding of how their elderly clients should be treated. The training also helps participants to identify at-risk older adults and maximize utilization of existing community resources.

Schools Respond to Family Violence

The Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council created a Schools Respond to Family Violence Project designed to increase school personnel’s awareness of family violence issues, to help teachers, staff and school leadership better respond to students affected by family violence, and to prompt implementation of integrated service protocols on family violence. This Project includes a Guidebook specifically written for school personnel, easy-to-adapt training designs, and ongoing technical assistance and support from the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Councils staff.

Both the Guidebook and project were developed through an advisory committee and pilot sites throughout Illinois who have implemented Schools Respond to Family Violence programs.

Highlights of the programs included:

  • Schools reported a higher level of confidence and ability among teachers and staff on how to serve students impacted by family violence, including issues of mandated reporting, signs of abuse in teen dating relationships, and talking with students who are witnesses of domestic violence.
  • High level of cooperation at all sites from local sexual assault agencies, domestic violence agencies, law enforcement, DCFS, and youth-serving agencies resulted in increased trust and communication among these community members.
  • Significantly increased activities which educate teachers and staff, as well as students and community members on issues relating to family violence and on how to access resources.
  • A belief that there was an increase in referrals to the local domestic violence and sexual assault centers since the program has been implemented.

IFVCC staff and Local Council Coordinators continue to approach new schools each year to engage in the Schools Respond to Family Violence Project.