Community Outreach

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Multnomah County has taken steps to increase the visibility of the Family Court Enhancement Project by making presentations about their activities and experiences at national and regional conferences. These materials provide an overview of the site’s work on the project.

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Data Collection

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The court gathered information from survivors and professionals to identify needs and gaps that should be addressed by the project. Surveys and roundtables were used to inform the site’s selection and development of activities and resources.

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Data Collection

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Challenges identified by the project team included a lack of accurate identification of domestic violence by family court practitioners and survivors’ lack of understanding and information regarding family court procedures, available relief, and governing law. Another challenge concerned the inconsistency in court orders around the intersection of domestic violence and custody, both in the inclusion of child-related relief in protection orders and in properly accounting for domestic violence in divorce and custody cases. To better assess these gaps and their impact, the site conducted several roundtables with different practitioner groups as well as survivors, and the bench and family law bar were surveyed to gather more data about the scope of these issues and to inform the development of possible solutions.

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Court access for Native Americans

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Native Americans experience domestic violence at higher rates than any other group in the United States, yet the Hennepin County team found that very few accessed the relief available from orders for protection in family court or tribal court. To meet this need, the team created two positions, a Native Liaison and a Community Outreach Specialist, to build a relationship between the court and the Native population and to provide information about what family court can do to help. Below are some of the materials that were developed as well as job descriptions of the two positions.

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