Family Violence Council - May 16, 2018 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
May 16, 2018 - 3:00pm

Family Violence Council Minutes

May 16, 2018

3.00 – 5.00 pm

400 McAllister, Room 617

San Francisco, CA 94102



Chief of Adult Probation, or designee: Lee A. Hudson

Chief of Juvenile Probation, or designee: Paula Hernandez

Director of Department of Aging and Adult Services, or designee: Jill Nielson

Director of Domestic Violence Consortium: Beverly Upton

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

Director of Elder Abuse Forensic Center, or designee: Shawna Reeves

Director of Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, or designee: Aumijo Gomes

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

Director of Department of Public Health, or designee: Patricia Erwin

Director of Human Services Agency, or designee: Barrett Johnson

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

Human Resources Director, or designee: Reyna McKinnon

District Attorney, or designee: Liz Tarchi

Chief of Police, or designee: Lt. Arran Pera 

Chief Medical Examiner of Medical Examiner’s Office, or designee: Michael Hunter, M.D.

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

Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, or designee: Teri L. Jackson

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

President of Commission on the Status of Women, or designee:  Minouche Kandel, Emily Murase



Mayor, or designee; Sheriff, or designee; Director of Department of Animal Care and Control, or designee; Public Defender, or designee; Chief of the Fire Department, or designee; Executive Director of Department of Emergency Management, or designee; President of the Board of Supervisors, or designee.


Other attendees

Glen Fishman, Institute on Aging; Tamari Hedani, Institute on Aging; Robin Brasso, National Council of Jewish Women San Francisco; Rachael Chambers, Department on the Status of Women; Jessica Marques, CASARC/RTC; Amanda Rodriguez, UCSF; Orchid Pusey, Asian Women’s Shelter; Kenneth Kim, Glide; Kate Feng, API Legal Outreach; Akiles Ceron, Adult Protective Services; Jerel McCrary, Bay Area Legal Aid; Simone Combs, Our Children, Our Families.



  1. Approval of the Minutes

February Minutes approved (Murase/Tarchi)


  1. Update to Family Violence Council Ordinance - Minouche Kandel
  • The Ordinance was updated and signed by the Mayor on May 4th.  New members of the Council are: First 5, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing
  • The hearing on the FY 2016 Family Violence Council Report was moved from April 25 to May 23.


  1. Presentation from Our Children, Our Families – Simone Combs
  • Our Children Our Families (OCOF) was founded in 2014 by Proposition C, to improve outcomes of children, youth, and families in San Francisco. It is a chartered body, featuring 13 department heads, 13 leaders from San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and 14 members of the public appointed by the Mayor’s office that work to address these issues more concretely. The five overarching goals OCOF has established for children and families are:
    • Live in a safe and nurturing environment
    • Attain economic security and housing stability
    • Physical, emotional, and mental well-being
    • Thrive in a 21st century education framework
    • Success in post-secondary education and careers
  • OCOF has the following working groups: (1) Data Analysis Group, for measuring and assessing indicators; (2) Coordinated Services and Targeted Research Group, detailing policy needs, efforts for power mapping, and resource allocation; (3) Training and Capacity Building, to bring more people into the movement and work.
  • The workgroups that overlap with the prevention work that the Family Violence Council is exploring are the Data Collection and Coordinated Services workgroups These are detailed in an Outcomes Framework document.  
  1. Presentation from Medical Examiner’s Office – Dr. Michael Hunter
  • Dr. Hunter detailed the differences between medical examiners and coroner’s offices, notably that medical examiners are appointed while coroners are elected, and there is not a national standard for coroners. As a result, different areas across the country, and sometimes within a state, have different approaches to forensics and investigations.
  • San Francisco is a medical examiner county, and has trained staff that prioritize scientific evidence in investigations to determine cause and manner of death.  By comparison with other areas of the state of California, data shows that the medical examiner’s office can better determine the cause of death and whether or not there was malice, which assists police and district attorney investigations and provides more information on preventative strategies.
  • The Medical Examiner’s Office is working on a case collection software that should be online in the next 6 months, but at present everything is still on paper. When the system is up and running, the examiner’s office is hoping to have a search function that will allow you to record the relationship to the killer (in recording homicides or accidental deaths), as well as the disaggregation by race, gender, age, etc.




  1. Implementation of FY 2016 Report Recommendations

Lt. Arran Pera discussed the staffing of the Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit, which includes staff working on domestic violence in addition to stalking, human trafficking, and internet crimes against children. When officers first join the unit, they are asked to specify what they would like to work on, and then are sent through a trial period to get a feeling for the work and learn more about specific areas and approaches. Trainees are also given tools to engage in a trauma informed way.

There were questions on how to ensure retention and how to get people who have expertise and drive that stay with the program as a lead and point of contact.  There were also questions around ensuring that language access is an area of competence, particularly with the specialized vocabulary that is necessary to discuss cases of sexual assault and domestic violence.


Orchid Pusey from Asian Women’s Shelter described a training they do with front line staff who are engaged in trauma-sensitive work.  There was a suggestion that Special Victims Unit look into having their staff trained in this way.


  1. Public Comment:

Robin Brasso discussed upcoming bills that would ensure the audit of sexual assault kit backlogs, which has been a continuing issue for cold case investigations and justice.


  1. Adjournment