Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley, is comprised of 1,312 square miles and 1,739,380 residents, and is home to 15 cities and towns. Santa Clara County’s largest city is San Jose, with 973,672 residents. There is great variety in the population density and landscape of Santa Clara County’s cities and surrounding areas. In the southern part of the county, the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy are surrounded by ranches and rich farmland. The northern part of the county, from San Jose to Palo Alto, is densely populated.
Santa Clara County is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation with large percentages of Caucasian (45%), Hispanic (25%), and Asian (24%). An additional 3% of Santa Clara County were African American, and both Native American and Pacific Islander represented 0.3%. The table below shows the percentage of Santa Clara County Population by ethnicity and shows the differences between the adult and child/youth populations.
State of California, Department of Finance, Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 2000-2005. Sacramento, CA, May 2004.
Santa Clara County is also linguistically diverse, with over 100 languages and dialects spoken. According to the 2000 United States Census, 34% of Santa Clara County residents were born in other nations and 55% lived in homes where English was the only language spoken. Primary languages spoken in the home other than English included Spanish (18%), Asian and Pacific Island languages (20%) and other Indo-European languages (7%).
The high cost of living in Santa Clara County has created enormous challenges for many families. California for Family Economic Self-Sufficiency has estimated that to meet basic needs without public or private assistance in Santa Clara County, a family of four has to earn $77,638 in 2008. This estimate is referred to as the Self-Sufficiency Standard. In 2003, at least one in four families earned less than this economic benchmark. In spite of the high cost of living in Santa Clara County, many community members live in poverty. In 2008, the Federal Poverty Level for a family of four was $21,200. The United States Census American Community Survey estimated that there were more than 38,000 Santa Clara County children under age 18, and more than 21,000 families living below the federal poverty level.
Intimate Partner Violence
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department regularly conducts a Behavioral Risk Factor Survey where residents are randomly selected and interviewed by phone. In 2005-2006, the survey found:
- 1.8 percent of respondents reported experiencing violence in the past 12 months.
- 6.8 percent of younger adult’s ages 18-24 have experienced violence.
- 7.1 percent of adults ages 25-34 have experienced violence.
- 6.5 percent of adults ages 35-44 have experienced violence.
- 6.6 percent of respondents reported being physically abused by an intimate partner.
- More females (11.1 percent) reported being physically abused than males (2.2 percent).
The Public Health Department also tracks domestic violence related deaths by year. In its 2004 report, the overall number of Intimate Partner Violence deaths in the County has remained fairly consistent since 1997 with 21 deaths in 2003. There were 3,565 prosecutions cases for domestic violence in 2001 (an average of 68 new criminal cases of domestic violence each week).
Structure of the Greenbook Santa Clara Project
The Greenbook Project began in Santa Clara County in 2000 with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Project management for the Santa Clara County Greenbook Project was provided by Kids In Common, a local child advocacy non-profit organization. The Project Oversight Committee lead the project and was comprised of senior representatives from the Juvenile Dependency Court, Law Enforcement, the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS), and five non-profit domestic violence organizations (Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, Support Network for Battered Women, Community Solutions, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) and MAITRI). There was also a larger Implementation Team (“IT”) comprised of about 70 representatives from the above agencies as well as other important stakeholders, such as community based organizations and multi-service providers. Finally, a local research non-profit organization, Applied Survey Research, was contracted to facilitate research and evaluation for the project.
What did the local Greenbook Project do?
Santa Clara County Greenbook Project had eight core project workgroups.The projects and goals are summarized below.
Domestic Violence Advocates
|Every adult victim has access to a primary advocate to ensure comprehensive support and bridge client with other services and advocates as needed. Primary advocate stays with the client throughout the case.
|Social workers, DV advocates, judicial officers, and law enforcement personnel have a better understanding of (i) the dynamics of child abuse and domestic violence, (ii) how to screen/assess for domestic violence, (iii) services available, and (iv) policies/ procedures of other sectors/ disciplines.
|Each batterer is referred to a Batterer’s Intervention Program or other form of treatment / accountability (restraining order, prosecution, supervised visitation) by DFCS, courts and /or law enforcement.
Differential Response to DV
|Multi-disciplinary team consisting of law enforcement, social worker, domestic violence advocate and others as appropriate will provide immediate, next day or follow up response when domestic violence and child maltreatment are detected.
DFCS Agency Policy and Practice
|Every social worker will screen for DV and do further assessments as needed; Victim, child, batterer participate in a dialogue with staff about their needs; Clients have a greater understanding of system services; Staff will create service plans that respond to clients needs and are coordinated, differentiated, and manageable; Every child, victim and batterer receives intervention and/or counseling services (e.g., Victim Witness other subsidized or unsubsidized services); Staff will follow up on client service plans and ensure seamless transition to subsequent agency units or services.
|Partner with DV Council Courts Subcommittee to ensure sensitivity toward DV is raised among court personnel and others.
Respect Culture and Community Initiative (RCCI)
|Increased “System accountability” to community: Community members provide input to RCCI team in order to shape system changes; System will be responsive to feedback; System's response to family violence and co-occurrence is culturally competent and relevant. Increased “community accountability” to itself: community residents know how to respond to help family violence victims.
The Partnership Project
|Providers/ sectors will have increased understanding of how each other’s systems respond to specific cases, and where threats to safety or wellbeing occur, or support could otherwise be enhanced. Providers respond by making tactical policy or practice changes that affect the day to day practices of those serving clients.
What difference has Greenbook made?
Santa Clara County began implementing Greenbook policies in 2001 and since then there have been major improvements regarding how systems respond to domestic violence. The improvements that Greenbook has made over the years are:
- The reported level of knowledge about the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment has increased amongst system leaders associated with Greenbook: In 2003, 80 percent of system leaders associated with Greenbook reported they were “very knowledgeable” about the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment compared to only 49 percent in 2000.
- DV victims and their children are now more likely to be served by sensitized, resourceful staff: More than 700 staff from law enforcement, courts, child protective services, and community-based organizations have been cross-trained by Greenbook on the following: impact of co-occurrence, how to screen/ assess, how other systems work, and resources/ referrals. This course continues to be offered twice a year by the Department of Family and Children’s Services.
- DV victims are now more likely to receive phone support from a DV advocate following a DV incident, offering crises intervention and resources. In May 2006, law enforcement from San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell and the Sheriff’s department referred 4,367 victims to Next Door, a domestic violence agency, all of whom were contacted at least once.
- Families coming into DFCS are more likely to be screened for domestic violence, helping to insure they get appropriate services. The percent of DFCS cases screened for domestic violence in 2004-05 was 79 percent compared to 41 percent in 2001.
- The use of non-blaming language in case files has increased. In 2004-05, 82 percent of DV victims in DFCS (the child welfare system) are now more likely to have non-blaming language included in their petitions compared to 73 percent in 2003.
- More DV victims are likely to have DV appropriate services included in their petitions. 88 percent of DV victims in DFCS are more likely to have DV-appropriate services included in their petitions in 2004-05 compared to 38 percent in 2003.
- Better linkage to critical support services. In 2004-05, 94 percent of DV victims in DFCS are now more likely to be linked to critical services, such as Safety Planning, DV Support Groups, and Parenting Without Violence Classes compared to 90 percent in 2003.
- More children are referred to services that will provide opportunities for healing. Children in DFCS who have been exposed to domestic violence are now more likely to be linked to opportunities for healing such as play therapy and individual counseling. In 2004 -05, 88 percent received at least one referral for services, compared to 72 percent in 2001.
- Fewer children being taken to the shelter unnecessarily. Originating as a Greenbook initiative, “Joint Response” implemented by DFCS in conjunction with law enforcement has been instituted throughout Santa Clara County, leading to fewer removals of 4 days or less. Removals for 4 days or less can be an indicator that a family is in need of services, but not the disruption and stress of removing a child. Not only were these removals decreased, they also decreased as a percentage of the total removals. In 2001, there were 538 children who were removed from their home for 4 days or less (33% of the total removals). In 2005, there were only 297 children removed for 4 days or less (24.1% of the total removals.)
- Fewer children removed from their homes. Greenbook and other reforms instituted by DFCS, including Early Intervention/Weekend Diversion, Family to Family, Joint Response, and a focus on limiting shelter stays have impacted the overall rates of children entering the system. In 2001, 1,629 children were removed from their home for child neglect or maltreatment. In 2005, only 1,231 were removed from their home.
- Increased community involvement in domestic violence issues. The Respect Culture and Community Initiative (RCCI) created and distributed over 200 toolkits to faith leaders, neighborhoods, and service providers. These toolkits included basics facts and statistics about DV, penal codes, and a service provider’s directory.
- Grassroot leadership to help children and families. In December 2004, RCCI produced a white paper of what they learned with the community, and shared the findings with some of the Greenbook projects (the Batterers Intervention Committee, the Court Subcommittee, the Project Oversight Committee, and Cross Training) and other Greenbook sites around the country. RCCI also created a 20-minute DVD about the project and what it had accomplished. The work of RCCI helped the community to become empowered to create social change and be accountable to itself. This included increasing community members’ ability to recognize the forms of family violence and to intervene in locally appropriate ways in their community.
Santa Clara County continues to use Greenbook principles to address the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment. Currently, there are several initiatives/projects focusing on system accountability and family treatments programs. These initiatives/projects are Building Peaceful Families, Filling the Gaps in DV (Court) Cases, San Jose State University Collaborative Response Project, Family Treatment Project, and C.A.R.E. Model. The current work from all these initiatives/projects is helping Santa Clara County move towards a more coordinated, countywide response to family violence.
Overall, Greenbook has changed the way systems respond to domestic violence, but there is still more work that needs to be done. To address the challenges of developing and implementing a coordinated system approach to the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, Santa Clara County will continue to focus on building capacity within and across systems, designing tools and strategies to share and manage information and resources, and creating a feedback loop that will create opportunities for evaluation, learning, and growth.
Santa Clara County Documents:
Column by the Hon. Leonard P. Edwards (PDF)
Santa Clara Newsletter (PDF) Fall 2003
Lessons Learned in Santa Clara County (PDF)
Santa Clara County Stakeholder Readiness Assessment Report (PDF)
Toward a More Coordinated, County-wide Response to Family Violence(PDF) August 2007
Assessing the Impact of the Greenbook Initiative and Related Efforts Since 2001 (PPT) February 2007
Implementing Recommendations in the Greenbook: Lessons Learned in Santa Clara County
Maria Jose Moraga
Former Greenbook Project Coordinator
408-882-0900 ext. 213
Kids in Common
1605 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126
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