YoungWilliams Honors Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to recognize the impact of violence on families. Victims often return to abusers because of a lack of financial resources. YoungWilliams child support offices, along with the greater child support community, can help bridge that gap with the entry of support orders. The YoungWilliams’ offices around the country provide services designed to level the playing field and allow victims to access our services more safely and assertively.
Empathetic and supportive services. Several years ago, the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) partnered with the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to incorporate behaviorally informed domestic violence practices in the program. The state office reviewed outgoing correspondence to parents for content and tone and updated the family violence indicator process in the state system.
YoungWilliams operates all the full-service child support offices in Mississippi. At the local level, the offices redesigned interview questions to better screen for possible abuse.
“We learned how important language is when working with victims of domestic violence,” said David Love, Legal Director for our Mississippi operation. “Instead of asking customers if they are victims of domestic violence, we ask if they have any safety concerns. This language is more engaging and less threatening.”
Safe space. We secure our offices for the safety of customers and employees. Our waiting rooms are welcoming, inviting, as are our interview rooms. They are private and allow for the exchange of confidential information. Based upon a parent’s response to our safety screening, we can schedule in-person meetings separately and at different times.
Protection of Personal Information. YoungWilliams follows all federal and state rules to protect customers’ personal information such as addresses and social security numbers. We also train employees to mark the family violence indicator on cases where it is necessary.
Community Partnerships. Many of our communities have active agencies to assist and advocate for domestic violence survivors. Our offices maintain relationship with those offices so we can better serve customers in common and make appropriate referrals for those in need.
YoungWilliams is proud to be a part of the community that allows parents to safely pursue child support. #DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth #DVAM2022 #Every1KnowsSome1