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Safe Haven Visitation & Safe Exchange

The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) provides technical assistance to Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange grantees to enhance the delivery to supervised visitation and exchange services to culturally-specific and culturally diverse communities using centers in cases involving domestic violence.


During the early stages of the grant program, OVW recognized a need to examine cultural competency in the context of supervised visitation. While there is a high incidence of domestic violence among African American and Native American populations, little was known about their experiences with supervised visitation and safe exchange, or that of other diverse populations. To address this, OVW awarded a grant and partnered with IDVAAC to explore cultural competency as it relates to supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence and identify approaches to enhance service delivery to African American, Native American, Latino American, and South Asian American communities, with an emphasis on the first two.

Since receiving the grant, IDVAAC has been meeting with consumers and key stakeholders from culturally diverse communities to identify strategies, priorities, and considerations for the delivery of supervised visitation and exchange services to culturally-specific or diverse clientele Through a series of surveys, roundtables, and interviews, IDVAAC is developing a set of guide posts for communities to use when addressing cultural competency in the supervised visitation and exchange setting. IDVAAC provides technical assistance and training to Supervised Visitation Program grantees to help them integrate the guide posts and critical thinking into their organizations, practices, and community efforts.

Technical Assistance

IDVAAC provides technical assistance to Supervised Visitation Program grantees to enhance communities' and visitation centers work with culturally diverse groups. IDVAAC has brought together a team of technical assistance providers that are available to grantees so that unique needs of each community can be met. Examples of types of technical assistance available:

  • Telephone consultation
  • Site visits and on-site consultation
  • training
  • Strategic planning and critical thinking
  • Linking communities with experts
  • Reviewing policies and procedures
  • Meeting with project staff
  • Facilitating consulting committee meetings or conducting focus groups

Facilitating consulting committee meetings or conducting focus groups

For more information call IDVAAC toll-free at (877) 643-8222, email Lauren Litton at llitton@ispconsults.com or complete the technical assistance form below.

Technical Assistance Form


IDVAAC has developed two products to assist communities in their own exploration of how to account for culture in the delivery of supervised visitation and exchange services that are tailored to families who have experienced domestic violence, stalking, child abuse or sexual assault. The products were developed after holding roundtables, conducting site visits, and speaking to experts in the field about the needs of culturally diverse communities and the role of the broader community in those efforts.

Concepts in Creating Culturally Responsive Services for Supervised Visitation Centers provides an overview of specific priorities and insights about how to enrich service delivery directed at Latino, South Asian Americans, and African Americans. The intent was to sample the voices of varying communities about their experiences and perspectives associated with supervised visitation and cultural responsiveness. The themes were compiled into concepts that can be used to guide communities and organizations in their examination of this issue. This report also has an accompanying DVD that features national experts and service providers talking about how they have incorporated culturally responsive practices into their work. The DVD is intended to help spark local conversations and makes the argument for why cultural competency is an integral part of best practices.


Ozha Wahbeganniss: Exploring Supervised Visitation & Exchange Services in Native American Communities

Prepared By: Lauren J. Litton, JD, I.S.P. Consulting and Oliver J.Williams, Ph.D. Executive Director, Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community

Supervised visitation and exchange services for families who have experienced intimate partner violence is a needed resource for tribal communities. This report highlights recommendations stemming from discussion groups held with Native American professionals and consumers about how these services can be created in a way that both meets the needs of families and is valued by the community.


Concepts in Creating Culturally Responsive Services for Supervised Visitation Centers

Prepared By: Dr. Oliver J. Williams

This report was developed to assist Office on Violence Against Women Supervised Visitation Center (SVC) and Safe Exchange program grantees in examining how they serve culturally diverse populations. A major goal of this report is to encourage Supervised Visitation grantees to reflect on the good work they already do and to consider how they can enhance their efforts to support diverse populations in the context of court-referred supervised visitation when domestic violence is an issue.


Supervised Visitation: Concepts in Creating Culturally Responsive Services for Supervised Visitation Centers DVD



Exploring Linguistic Accessibility Conference Call training and Discussion

Presenters: Wendy Jones, tracee Parker

This call is an opportunity for grantees to both learn and discuss how they are meeting the language needs of clients as valued by Guiding Principle II of the Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program. This conference call will explore how communities are creating linguistically accessible and appropriate services and frame principles and lessons learned. Conference call participants will also hear from one supervised visitation and exchange center about their approaches and efforts around this issue.

Original Airing: February 25, 2008

Click here to view in replay mode

Cultural Competency: What Does That Mean for Me?

Presenters:  Debi Cain & Ona Foster

Cultural competency, cultural relevancy, and cultural humility have become buzzwords for organizations in creating workplaces that promote diversity, reduce racism, and address the complex needs of a multi-cultural clientele. Presenters will discuss their experiences in addressing cultural competency including organization and self-analysis, staff development and creating safe spaces for tough conversations. They will also frame how these issues impact the delivery of supervised visitation and exchange services.

Original Airing: August 17, 2007

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Working with Native Families

Presenters: Vicki Ybanez & Jeremy NeVilles-Sorrel

While some tribes are working on establishing or expanding their visitation services for families experiencing domestic violence, the reality is that resources are still too few and many Native families needing supervised visitation services are being served by non-tribal visitation providers. This training will explore considerations for Safe Havens grantees that work with Native American clients, including framing issues that impact families such as oppression, poverty, and racism. Additionally, grantees will have the opportunity to learn and discuss engagement strategies, cultural considerations, and service delivery.

Original Airing: July 13, 2007

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Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation

Family Violence Prevention Fund 

Mending the Sacred Hoop 

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges 

Office on Violence Against Women 

Praxis International 

Alliance of Local Service Organizations 


Supervised Visitation Network 

A Discussion of Accounting for Culture in Supervised Visitation Practices: The City of Chicago , Illinois Demonstration Site Experience. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, December 2005.

The following reports are also available at
www.praxisinternational.org/vista_ta_frame.html :

  • Exploring the Question: How does the work of a visitation center produce or not produce safety for everyone involved? A report from the California Safe Havens Demonstration Site Safety Audit. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, February 2006.
  • Exploring the Question: What is the role of a supervised visitation center? Michigan Demonstration Site Safety and Accountability Audit Planning Assessment. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, June 2004