Family Violence Council - November 13, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
November 13, 2019 - 3:00pm

Family Violence Council:

Addressing Violence Throughout the Lifespan



Wednesday, November 13, 2019

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

400 McAllister Street, room 617

San Francisco, CA 94102



Mayor or designee: Nicole Lindler

President of the Board of Supervisors or designee: Samuel Bennett, Supervisor Stefani’s Office

District Attorney or designee: Courtney Burris

Chief of Police or designee: Commander Raj Vaswani

Sheriff or designee: Paul Miyamoto

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

Chief of Adult Probation or designee: Chauncey Robinson

Executive Director of Domestic Violence Consortium or designee: Jerel McCrary

Director of Human Services Agency or designee: Tracy Burris

Executive Director of Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention or designee: Shawna Reeves

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

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

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

Director of Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families or designee: Laura Moye

Medical Examiner or designee: Dr. Ellen Moffatt

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

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



Presiding Judge of the Superior Court or designee; Executive Director of Department of Emergency Management or designee; Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing or designee; Chief of Juvenile Probation or designee; Public Defender or designee; Director of Department of Animal Care and Control or designee; Human Resources Director or designee; Chief of the Fire Department or designee; Executive Director of First 5 San Francisco or designee


Others Present:

Rida Ali, Department of Public Health; Gina Castro Rodriguez, DA’s Office of Victim Services Division; Captain Sergio Chin, Police Department; Glen Fishman, Institute of Aging; Linnea Fox, Department on the Status of Women; Elise Hansell, Department on the Status of Women; Tamari Hedani, Institute of Aging; Michelle Lau, Department on the Status of Women; Micaela Leonarte, Department on the Status of Women; Jenny Pearlman, Safe & Sound; Kyoko Peterson, Department on the Status of Women; Lieutenant Peter Shields, Police Department



  1. Call to Order/Agenda Changes
  2. Trauma Informed Check-In


  1. Approval of Minutes
    August 21, 2019 minutes approved. (Murase / Roye)
  2. Statewide Reform to Child Support Services

Karen Roye, Director of the Department of Child Support Services (CSS), briefed the Family Violence Council on the Debt Relief Pilot. The goal of this pilot is to increase the amount of resources that go to families, support stronger outcomes for children, and improve familial relationships. 


  • CSS has implemented various practices to help parents reach financial stability and co-parent together, including parenting time orders, educational programming, mediation, and training around domestic and family violence. 
  • Since 1992, CSS has had a program to reduce the debt load that is owed to government in child support payments (the average debt load is $55,000). However, this program has strict eligibility requirements, limiting the number of families that could participate, and presented barriers to move payments to families. The California State Department of Child Support Services asked counties to help streamline this process, which has resulted in the Debt Relief Pilot. 
  • In partnership with Tipping Point and the Financial Justice Project, the pilot project provided funding for 10% of the balance repayment which eliminated 90% of assigned arrears. In addition, participating families attended financial counseling workshops, and CSS streamlined the application process and stipulated compliance and rescission terms. 
  • The pilot project involved a treatment group of 34 families, 32 of which completed the project successfully over the course of two years. These families made regular and consistent payments and had no family violence incidents.  
  • CSS has delivered their evidence-based results to the State, which is now looking to expand the project to other counties. Other next steps include launching a project focused on reducing debt arrears owed to the family and identifying funding partners to assist more families to resolve debt. 


  1. ARISE Lessons Learned: Systems Approach and Universal Education

Dr. Leigh Kimberg from the Department of Public Health briefed the Family Violence Council on the Aspire to Realize Improved Safety and Empowerment (ARISE) program, which aims to improve safety and reduce intimate partner violence (IPV) through education of patients and staff and incorporating discussions around IPV into healthcare. 


  • ARISE aims to transform healthcare systems by centering care using trauma-informed approaches. The program has gathered data about IPV prevalence and partnered with community organizations to provide enhanced access to advocacy, legal help, and trauma care. 
  • Because IPV disclosure will never match its true prevalence, healthcare systems must provide education, assistance, and interventions without requiring disclosure. Other strategies include using screening tools and asking questions that are related to a patient’s initial problem or concern, understanding what coping mechanisms a patient uses, understanding a patient’s individual and community strengths, and providing informational safety cards about IPV. 
  1. Update from Sheriff’s Department

Paul Miyamoto, Sheriff Elect, provided updates from the Sheriff’s Department. 

  • Of the 288 individuals in the Department’s electronic monitoring program, 32 individuals have domestic violence charges against them.  
  • This year, the Department served 22 out of 30 total domestic violence related restraining orders and retrieved 26 weapons through gun violence restraining orders.  


  1. Progress Towards SFPD Recommendations

Commander Raj Vaswani, Lieutenant Peter Shields, and Captain Sergio Chin from the San Francisco Police Department provided an update on the Department’s progress towards Family Violence Council recommendations. 


  • SFPD is working to ensure the cross-referring of domestic violence cases to Child Protective Services (Recommendation 2).  
  • SFPD is working to finalize a Domestic Violence Manual and an Elder Abuse Manual (Recommendations 8 and 9). Both documents have been approved by the Department and are awaiting final approvals. 
  • Unit Orders for the Assignment of Child Abuse and Elder Abuse cases for investigation are complete (Recommendation 11).
  • The Special Victims Unit is moving towards adequate staffing levels; the Unit has a total of 61 investigators and 65 investigators is considered ideal (Recommendation 5). 
  • Information about domestic violence survivors’ right to obtain their police report is now included on the victim notification card (Recommendation 6).
  • While the Department’s domestic violence training addresses identifying the dominant aggressor, there is still a need to conduct targeted primary aggressor training at the district level (Recommendation 13).
  • The Council made a recommendation around recording a more detailed description of the relationship between the victim and suspect in child abuse cases (Recommendation 22). SFPD follows state guidelines and the IT team prefers to keep database dropdowns simple.  

VIII. Progress Towards Council Recommendations

Elise Hansell and Michelle Lau from the Department on the Status of Women (DOSW) provided an update on the status of Family Violence Council recommendations. Of the 26 recommendations, six have been completed, 17 are in progress, and three have no action.  


  • To make the recommendations more robust and measurable, DOSW proposed including information around responsible agency or agencies, timeline, resources and funding required, and output and outcome measures for each proposed recommendation.  
  • The group discussed also including target population, origin and rationale for the recommendation, and a specific contact within each agency that will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the recommendation. 
  • The Family Violence Council will hold a retreat in early 2020. The group expressed interest in understanding how different types of family violence are related to each other, as well as how the Council can build off pilot programs that have been presented. 

IX. Key Issues in Family Violence                                                        

  1. Domestic Violence Update – Jerel McCrary


Jerel McCrary of Bay Area Legal Aid provided the domestic violence update in Beverly Upton’s absence. The Domestic Violence Consortium (DVC) had a successful domestic violence awareness month launch on October 2 and a CEDAW Women’s Human Rights Awards Luncheon on November 2. Bay Area Legal Aid has received increased reports of survivors of domestic violence being arrested. In particular, there have been reports of survivors being arrested when obtaining police reports around past domestic violence incidents. Bay Area Legal Aid is planning to follow up with the SFPD on these incidents.  
Dr. Emily Murase, Director of the Department on the Status of Women, provided an update on an individual who was convicted in a domestic violence homicide and has become eligible for parole. The Domestic Violence Consortium will be asking Governor Newsom not to grant parole. 

  1. Elder Abuse Update – Shawna Reeves


Shawna Reeves of the Institute of Aging informed the Council of a blog post on the intersection of elder abuse and domestic violence that has attracted attention of national news organizations. In the coming months, IoA will be planning around World Elder Abuse Day (June 15, 2020) and an elder abuse panel focused on LGBTQ elders.


  1. Child Abuse Update – Jenny Pearlman


Jenny Pearlman of Safe & Sound informed the Council that they are developing a local alliance to promote the sustainability of San Francisco’s Family Resource Centers. The organization is also working with the State to create a county-wide prevention plan using an analysis from the Controller’s Office which found that few primary prevention services exist and most programs focus on supporting children to reduce abuse, not adults.  
Jenny noted that there has been a recent increase in infant deaths, which will be a focus of the next meeting of the Child Death Review Team. 
There has been great support from the City for trafficked youth, including investment in a new center that will open on December 12, partially funded by the $9 million grant from the State for trafficked youth.                       


X. Public Comment

No public comment.

XI. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 4:53 p.m.