Expect Respect expansion project continues in HoustonWritten by Ellen Wilder
Expect Respect is proud to partner with Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (HCDVCC) based out of Houston, Texas on the Expect Respect dissemination project. HCDVCC is 1 of 4 sites utilizing program strategies from Expect Respect to make communities in the greater Houston area safer as well as address and prevent teen dating violence. Click the links to read more about the grant project that is funded by The Allstate Foundation as well as our partners and 2-day trainings in Pittsburgh, PA and Hemet, CA.
At Expect Respect, we understand that ending domestic violence starts with working with youth who have been exposed to, witnessed, and/or experienced violence, and we are excited to support HCDVCC as they expand their programming to work directly with young people. HCDVCC initiates collaborations focusing on maximizing community resources, increasing safety for victims of domestic violence, and holding perpetrators of domestic violence accountable.
The Council has been established for 25 years, and this is the first time their team will provide direct therapeutic services to youth. Incorporating youth-focused prevention initiatives will bolster their mission-driven work of increasing access to services and safety.
During a recent 2-day training in Houston, Expect Respect Consultant, Emiliano Diaz de Leon, and Expect Respect Training Manager, Ellen Wilder, met HCDVCC staff and community members who are all passionate about supporting young people’s safety in their various roles. HCDVCC Executive Director, Barbie Brashear, and HVDVCC Training Director, Thecia Jenkins, set the tone of the training, which felt collaborative, meaningful, and youth-centered.
In addition, Stefanie Hayes, the new Expect Respect Counselor at HCDVCC, who will be facilitating support groups in middle and high schools, was joined by community participants in experiencing hands-on activities from the evidence-based Expect Respect secondary support group curriculum she will utilize.
Several people at the training work for the local affiliate of Communities In Schools (CIS), a national, school-based program that connects youth with communities of support to empower them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS staff are located in schools and connect youth with other programs and resources to help with things like meeting basic needs, academics, and social, emotional and behavioral support.
The Expect Respect team in Austin utilizes a similar partnership in order to obtain student referrals, coordinate logistics to provide support groups on campus, and access support staff. Expect Respect often serves students enrolled in CIS and provides staff with crisis support services. We are thrilled HCDVCC has partnered with CIS in Goose Creek Independent School District in Baytown, a community 30 miles east of Houston, in order to effectively start up Expect Respect support groups. This is a fantastic model of partnering with others to identify and serve youth who have been exposed to violence.
HCDVCC is starting their youth programming for the first time and we are blown away by all of the positive momentum they have garnered over the past 3 months to make this happen!