The Montgomery County Family Justice Center is one of only approximately 40 centers located in the United States and other countries. The concept is to create a family-friendly environment in which a multi-disciplinary team of professionals works together in one, centralized location to provide coordinated services to victims of family violence.
Prior to the Center’s opening in Montgomery County, victims of domestic violence would have to visit as many as 20 different agencies to receive vital services and assistance. With victims often escaping their situations with only the clothes on their back and no transportation, this made an already challenging situation nearly impossible.
Within the welcoming, comfortable environment of the Center, families meet with essential service in one location, conveniently located near public transportation. There is a kitchen stocked with snacks and beverages and a children’s room and library where they can play, read, watch television, do homework, or use a computer while their mothers talk confidentially with counselors.
The safe and secure Center, houses partners, including:
- Sheriff’s Deputies and police officers
- Crisis counseling and ongoing counseling
- Safety planning and assistance in obtaining protective orders
- Case management
- Shelter referrals, chaplains,
- Pro bono and immigration attorney services
- Community-based advocates
The Family Justice Center model is based on the San Diego Family Justice Center that opened in 2002. The model is identified as a best practice in domestic violence intervention and prevention services. Its documented and published outcomes include reduced homicides, increased victim safety, increased autonomy and empowerment for victims, reduced fear and anxiety for victims and their children, and reduced recantation and minimization by victims when they receive this level of support.