Family Support & Well-being

Preventing and Responding to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence impacts all of our communities. It can have long-term negative effects on the well-being and safety of children and families. There are several things we can do to support parent and child survivors of domestic violence to heal and thrive. Head Start programs play a key and valuable role in families' lives. Program staff are in a unique position to support families and children experiencing domestic violence.

A strength-based approach to talking with families about domestic violence requires trust and mutual respect between program staff and families. Program staff who are aware of best practices for receiving disclosures of domestic violence and providing appropriate and empathic responses are in a better position to maintain the trust and respect they have built with families. Head Start programs can take steps to prepare and equip themselves to prevent and address domestic violence. From the individual to the programmatic level, it is important to create a collaborative approach. Program staff must have the opportunities and resources to learn more about domestic violence, ways to support families experiencing domestic violence, and strategies to promote healthy relationships.

A key part of this work is creating a culture where the health and well-being of program staff is prioritized by enhancing community partnerships. Domestic violence can affect those supporting families directly experiencing domestic violence, so it is crucial that program staff access the supportive services they need and engage in wellness practices regularly.

Partnering with Families to Address Domestic Violence

Find resources that program staff can use as a guide to talk with families about healthy relationships and domestic violence in a trauma-informed way.

Program Preparation to Address Domestic Violence

In this section, explore resources to help programs build and implement domestic violence prevention and response systems and practices.