This report presents the goal, features, and recommendations of a pilot program of the Child Trauma Response Team (CTRT), which was conducted in the East Harlem section of Manhattan to reduce the adverse impact of children’s exposure to domestic violence.
The CTRT pilot period was March 2016 to April 2017. The CTRT was managed under a partnership that involved the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY), and Safe Horizon, Inc. One of the objectives of the pilot program was to identify children who had witnessed serious incidents of domestic violence and provide an immediate, coordinated, trauma-focused, and interdisciplinary response to children under the age of 18 and their impacted family members. A second program feature was the provision of coordinated home-based outreach by the NYPD and Safe Horizon, case management services, and evidence-based mental health interventions. Families eligible for CTRT services were identified by reviewing the NYPD Domestic Incident Reports, as well as by receiving referrals for the program from a partner domestic violence organization and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. A total of 105 families were identified as eligible for the CTRT intervention, and 90 families elected to receive services. Of the families that received CTRT services, 82 percent had at least one child who screened positive for posttraumatic stress disorder. The five types of services received by the families are outlined in this report. Based on the experiences of the pilot program, recommendations address policy, practice, and evaluation research.