Safe Homes Safe Families


Domestic Violence: A Collaborative Model Curriculum


The NMCADV, in cooperation with the CYFD Head Start State Collaboration Office, has received a STOP Violence Against Women grant award for the 2012-2013 fiscal year to expand the Safe Homes Safe Families Curriculum in three locations in New Mexico.  We will recruit 2 statewide teams of 4 people plus 2 alternates (total of 12).  These geographically diverse locations are Gallup, Las Cruces, and Roswell.  The initial training for training teams will be July 24 & 25 in Albuquerque, NM.  If interested in participating, contact David River at 505-220-6582.


The goals of this Domestic Violence curriculum are to:

  • Deliver a family-focused, interactive and integrated training approach that capitalizes on the expertise and experience of both the participants and the facilitator-instructors
  • Sensitize those who work with children and/or families to the causes, dynamics and consequences of domestic violence and other abuse issues on the child and family
  • Promote communication and collaboration between Head Start and other area service providers to

result in improved local practice around domestic violence.


To accomplish these goals, the curriculum consists of three integral components: 1). a written curriculum;

2). a cross-disciplinary delivery methodology; and 3). a participant evaluation component. Cross disciplinary delivery methodology means – the curriculum is designed for presentation by a team of professionals from multi-disciplines including Head Start, Domestic Violence, Child Protective/Child Welfare Services, and Substance Abuse, Families Infants and Toddlers (FIT), and CYFD Home Visiting . The curriculum is a ‘train-the-trainer’ model.

The curriculum utilizes a cross-disciplinary delivery method because research is available to demonstrate that families affected by domestic violence are likely also experiencing one or more related social problems such as child abuse and neglect, substance abuse, and mental health issues. In order to be effective in helping families, Head Start staff needs to understand the inter-related nature of domestic violence.


The curriculum was designed with Head Start Staff in mind, specifically Head Start Family Service Workers. However, this curriculum is being used with the broader Early Care and Education program staff to expand the coordinated response for children exposed to domestic violence.


Evaluations completed on staff training participants in the first five state pilots demonstrated:

  • Improved staff understanding of collaborative professions
  • Increased likelihood of future collaborations with other community service providers
  • Improved participant confidence working with families experiencing domestic violence
  • Improved the way participants will work with children from families experiencing domestic violence
  • Participant enthusiasm – the curriculum scored of 9.2 out of a possible 10

  The Safe Families-Safe Homes Curriculum was developed as a Small Business Innovation Research Project,

 funded by the Office of Head Start


Some Responses from Local Training Participants:

  • This training has brought to my attention the difference in domestic abuse and substance abuse. I thought coming into the training that substance abuse occurred more often in DV cases, but I was wrong.
  • Made it easier to understand why some women don’t just leave. Reinforced the importance of documentation. Difference between correlation and co-occurrence.
  • How to talk to victims. How to better work with victims of domestic violence. How to keep victims safe.
  • I have more empathy for women who are battered and the problems that they face. I am more aware of services in my area as well as other areas. Exceptional training.
  • I learned more about abuse and I also learned how to talk to encourage parents to seek some sort of help and also let parents know about all references out there to help them.
  • I will remember to be culturally sensitive and have the utmost respect with my families. I will also remember the actively listening, rather that passive listening; taking the time and helping the family.
  • First of all we need to develop a policy to help parents/families and not just interact. Great training – will be useful in dealing with families and staff.