Family Violence Council - May 15, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
May 15, 2019 - 3:00pm

Family Violence Council:

Addressing Violence throughout the Lifespan



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

400 McAllister, room 617

San Francisco, CA 94102



Chief of Adult Probation, or designee: Chauncey Robinson

Chief of Juvenile Probation, or designee: Paula Hernandez

Director of Department of Aging and Adult Services, or designee: Akiles Ceron 

Director of Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, or designee: Abigail Stewart-Kahn

Director of Domestic Violence Consortium: Beverly Upton

Director of Elder Abuse Forensic Center, or designee: Tamari Hedani

Director of San Francisco Child Abuse Council, or designee: Katie Albright

Superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District, or designee: Thea Anderson

Director of Human Services Agency, or designee: Julie Lenhardt

Officer of First 5 San Francisco, or designee: Shelli Rawlings Fein

District Attorney, or designee: Brad Allred

Director of Department of Child Support Services, or designee: Director Karen Roye

Chief of Police, or designee: Sgt. Inspector Antonio Flores

Sheriff, or designee: Cpt. Michelle Fisher

Director of Department of Animal Care and Control, or designee: Judy Choy

President of Commission on the Status of Women, or designee: Dr. Emily Murase   

Director of Department of Public Health, or designee: Dr. Leigh Kimberg

Chief Medical Examiner of Medical Examiner’s Office, or designee: Dr. Ellen Moffatt

President of the Board of Supervisors, or designee: Ellie Miller-Hall, Supervisor Stefani’s Office


Absent: Mayor, or designee; Office of the Public Defender; Human Resources Director, or designee; Chief of the Fire Department, or designee; Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, or designee; Director of Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, or designee; Executive Director of Department of Emergency Management, or designee


Others Present:

Adaeze Eze, Department on the Status of Women; Robin Brasso, National Council of Jewish Women; Gena Castro-Rodriguez, DA’s Office Victim Services Division; Glen Fishman, Institute on Aging; Elise Hansell, Department on the Status of Women; Jessica Lindquist, Treasurer & Tax Collector’s Office; Jerel McCrary, Bay Area Legal Aid; Elizabeth Newman, Department on the Status of Women; Jenny Pearlman, Safe & Sound; Jasmin Smith, Asst. to Director Karen Roye.






I.            Call to Order/Agenda Changes [Emily Murase/Tony Flores]

II.           Trauma Informed Check-In

III.          Approval of Minutes

              February 20, 2019 Minutes approved [Emily Murase/Tony Flores]

IV. Update from City Lobbyists on State Legislation Impacting Family Violence Issues - Karen Lange, Shaw / Yoder / Antwih, Inc.

Karen Lange, from Shaw/Yoder/Antwih, Inc., briefed the Family Violence Council on bills of particular interest to the group moving through the State Legislature. Given the upcoming June 15th deadline for the state budget’s finalization, 2,800 pieces of legislation are going through an accelerated budget process.

  • SB 436 (Hurtado) formalizes Family Resource Centers in state statute. The bill has been passed through the Senate and is being moved to the House.
  • AB 1221 (Cooley) creates statutory requirements for a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) to clarify what services must be provided in order to qualify as a CAC.
  • AB 898 (Wicks) proposes formation of a Children’s Behavioral Health Action Team. The bill is in the suspense file for Thursday.
  • SB-304 (Hill) provides for prosecutorial consolidation of multi-jurisdictional elder abuse cases. The bill is currently on suspense.
  • No decision has been made yet on the $50 million budget request for domestic violence prevention funding.

Karen highlighted that Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration has been particularly supportive of programs supporting families and children, so there is a good chance of related bills being signed by the Governor.

V. Overview of the Treasurer & Tax Collector’s Office of Financial Empowerment’s (OFE) “Smart Money Coaching” Program -  Jessica Lindquist, Office of Financial Empowerment

Jessica Lindquist of the Treasurer & Tax Collector’s Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) presented on the “Smart Money Coaching” Program OFE runs as part of its effort to connect victims of economic abuse to financial empowerment opportunities. Launched in 2015, the program offers free, confidential, one-to-one financial coaching and is integrated into workforce development, social service delivery, and public housing.


As part of the program’s mission to support victims of economic abuse, OFE sought to connect and inform FVC member agencies about some of the resources provided through the program. Coaches in the program can help clients create an emergency savings fund, as well as demystify the inner workings of banking while using public benefits to help clients improve and repair their credit reports.


Since 2015, the program has served almost 2,300 clients, 30% of whom were able to achieve a positive financial outcome. There is no limit to the number of sessions a client can attend, and the program operates at 15 different sites throughout the city.


Representatives from Child Support Services, the Institute of Aging, and the Department of Public Health expressed an interest in connecting their clients and employees to the program’s services. There was also discussion around the possibility of developing a cross-training on domestic violence for the program’s coaches to better support clients in domestic violence situations.


VI. Update on Family Violence Council Recommendations Involving SFPD (Recommendations: 5,6,7,8) Sgt. Inspector Antonio Flores, Special Victims Unit

Sergeant Antonio Flores updated the Council on SFPD’s progress on the recommendations made in the Family Violence in San Francisco FY 2017 report.

Recommendation 5, Ensure adequate and consistent staffing at the Special Victims Unit

  • In regards to staffing changes, Lt. Tiffe will be transferring out of Special Victim’s Unit (SVU) by end of the week. There will be additional movement this summer, but no other updates at this time.

Recommendation 6

  • The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) released new Department bulletins addressing mandated reporting. The bulletins offer information on responding to incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, and elder abuse. Additionally, SFPD released a new bulletin on Family Code 6228, regarding the timely release of domestic violence incident reports, and updated its website to include instructions for victims of domestic violence on how to obtain their incident reports.

Recommendation 9

  • The Elder Abuse Manual is currently with the Police Officers Association and the Department of Police Accountability.


Finally, representatives from the District Attorney’s Office and SFPD are conducting trainings at the Police Academy. HSA offered to join in the training as a collaborator.


Flores was quoted in a New York Times article on U & T visa applications.

VII. Findings of Advanced Policy Analysis: Reducing Domestic Violence in San Francisco: How Lethality Assessments Increase Service Connection for Survivors (Recommendation 18) - Catlin Grey, UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy

Catlin Grey, a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, conducted an advanced policy analysis of Bayview Station’s pilot lethality assessment program (LAP). The program instructs first responders arriving at the scene of domestic violence incidents to conduct a lethality assessment of the victim and connect those assessed as high risk to La Casa de Las Madres, a community-based organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence.


The report recommended continuing the LAP in the Bayview and expanding the program to other high-risk neighborhoods such as Ingleside and the Mission and, if possible, the entire city. The report included a cost analysis and budget expansion estimates.


Due to limitations in the policy analysis, Catlin suggests further research into whether this intervention has impact on repeat domestic violence incidents and the inclusion of survivor interviews in future analysis of the program.


VIII. Update from the Sentencing Commission - Jerel McCrary, Bay Area Legal Aid           

The most recent Sentencing Commission meeting took place on March 13 and included presentations on using humanizing language for people who have been involved with the criminal justice system. The language changes include shifting the traditional terminology of “ex-felons” to “criminally involved individuals.” The Commission also observed sentencing trends such as an increase in felony filings in 2018, as well as an upward spike in arrests, in contrast to the 5-year downward trend.

The Commission reviewed AB 372, a bill modifying a section of the California Penal Code related to domestic violence programs to allow 6 different counties (Napa, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Clara, Cruz, Yolo) to participate in a pilot program that offers an alternative to Batterer Intervention Programs (BIPs) for individuals convicted of domestic violence. The bill requires the alternative programs to meet specific standards and collect data that will be reported to the Legislature. The Commission also reviewed SB 785, a bill that prohibits the disclosure of a person’s immigration status in open court unless the judge presiding over the case determines the evidence to be admissible, in which case, the disclosure can only occur in closed proceedings.


Finally, the Commission discussed the recent funding that the San Francisco’s District Attorney’s Office has received from the MacArthur Foundation to reduce the jail population and expedite the processing of cases from incarceration to trial.


IX. Key Issues in Family Violence                                                        

  1. Domestic Violence Update – Beverly Upton

Beverly Upton of the Domestic Violence Consortium briefed the group on the tri-chairs’ presentation at the 63rd session of the NGO United Nations Commission on the Status of Women forum.


Beverly also informed the Council of an ongoing investigation into the death of Jessica Alva, a young Native American woman who passed away recently in the city. Beverly highlighted that according to the Urban Indian Health Institute’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report, San Francisco is one of the top ten cities with the highest number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).


  1. Elder Abuse Update – Tamari Hedani

Tamari Hedani of the Institute of Aging (IOA) updated the group on IOA’s presentation at the California District Attorney’s Association Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Abuse summit on April 15. The presentation was on IOA’s Veterans Benefits Protection Project, an initiative formed to help protect veterans and their families from pension poaching. The presentation also described some of the successfully prosecuted cases stemming from the project that resulted in restitution for victims.


IOA is also holding an event on June 14th in honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day from 9:45am - 12pm in the Ronald H. Born Auditorium at 170 Otis St.


Finally, SFPD released a Department memo that prohibits the inclusion of Adult Protective Services (APS) workers private information in incident reports, protecting mandated reporters. 


  1. Child Abuse Update – Jenny Pearlman

Jenny Pearlman of Safe & Sound briefed the Council on the organization’s work during Child Abuse Prevention Month, including a social media campaign, and lighting City Hall up in blue in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. Safe & Sound held their annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon on Friday, April 26th. Representative Nancy Pelosi and Mayor London Breed both issued proclamations in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.


Finally, Safe & Sound is creating a county-wide prevention plan and has asked the Controller’s Office to do asset mapping on child abuse prevention contracts.


X. Public Comment

  • San Francisco County was awarded a $9 million grant by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The funding will provide services for youth who have been exploited in the commercial sex industry or at-risk youth.
  • SFPD’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Manual is close to being completed.
  • The Medical Examiner’s report on the cause of Jessica Alva’s death is expected to be finalized and released soon.

Mayor London Breed is holding “be Invincible, a Women’s Summit” on June 14, from 7:30am-3:30pm. The summit is a celebration of the power, strength and resilience of San Francisco’s extraordinary women.


X. Adjournment in Jessica Alva’s Name



Family Violence Council

Quarterly Meeting Schedule 2019

Wednesdays, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm; 400 McAllister Street, Room 617

August 21, 2019

November 13, 2019