Local site teams gathered August 6-7 in Sarasota with faculty, staff and experts in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) to launch the first statewide MIECHV effort in Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). The opening session featured a riveting presentation by Kathlene Russell and Casey Keene – mother & daughter – who shared their story as survivors and advocates. Both underscored the importance of listening and supporting families experiencing domestic violence “where they are.”
Best practices for screening, identifying and responding to domestic violence in families receiving home visiting were shared by Brandy Carlson, Associate Vice-President of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV). Local teams were encouraged to learn more about available resources and build strong partnerships with local DV centers. An overview of legal options available to survivors was presented by Teresa Drake, Co-Founder and Director of the UF College of Law Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic. Allison LaMont, Manager for Implementation & Support and MIECHV affiliates at the Parents as Teachers National Center, offered strategies for supporting survivors and connecting them with community services.
The nuts and bolts of CQI, including PDSA cycles and using data to drive improvement, were also presented during the two-day event. Teams had an opportunity to experience rapid tests of change during fun, hands-on activities and to develop their initial PDSAs. Home Visitors and Supervisors met to discuss their challenges and strategies in break-outs sessions.
A highlight of the first learning session was the colorful and creative storyboards created and shared by the local teams. The storyboards feature team members, PDSA plans and participant stories.
CQI Consultant Darcey Terris challenged home visiting program staff in the closing session to be Champions of Change within their organizations and provided tools for assessing readiness and overcoming resistance. Teams were encouraged to take small steps and build on their successes.
In the coming year, the local teams will work together to test and implement ways to improve their performance around intimate partner violence – including screening, safety planning and linkage to expert services in the community. This topic was selected based on a review of benchmark data submitted to HRSA in the Fall of 2014. The teams will be supported by MIECHV staff, the state CQI team and faculty experts during the collaborative learning process.