Conference Details

Join us for this educational workshop entitled, 'Domestic Violence, Supervised Visitation and the Family Court System'. This is a 1-Day Seminar, with 3.5 CLE / CLU / CE credits* (applied for) supported by Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.

This event will be held Thursday, March 8, 2018 and Friday, March 9, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Nottoway Plantation, (Randolph’s Ballroom), at 31025 LA Hwy 1, White Castle, LA, 70788. You need only attend one of these dates as the same workshop will be shared at both events.

*This activity is pending approval from the National Association of Social Workers.

Registration deadline is Monday, March 5, 2018.

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Understanding the Dynamics of Domestic Violence

During the introductory segment of the training, the presenters will provide a definition of domestic violence; facilitate an interactive exercise on types of abuse; discuss the impact of domestic violence on victims; talk about factors associated with increased risk of domestic violence homicide; lead a participant brainstorm on barriers to leaving an abusive relationship; share what is known about common behaviors and characteristics of abusive partners, including by facilitating discussion about a video of a domestic violence incident; and discuss the co-occurrence of domestic violence perpetration, substance abuse and mental illness.

Interactive Exercise on Custody and Visitation Decision-Making and Assessing Risk

During this portion of the training, participants will review a civil protective order petition, discuss the petition with colleagues, and then make a decision as a group about what type of visitation to order based on the information provided (agency-based supervised visitation, family/friend supervised visitation, unsupervised visitation, or no visitation at this time). Participants will then watch a video of the incident described in the petition and reflect on how the additional information provided the video influences their decision-making about visitation. The facilitators will also guide participants to describe how the children may be experiencing the violence, and identify indicators of increased risk to the adult victim and children.

Children’s Experiences of Domestic Violence: Implications for Family Court Practice

During the final portion of the training, the facilitators will discuss how children experience and are affected by exposure to domestic violence, including potential physical, behavioral, emotional, cognitive and social impacts. Factors associated with increased risk to children, including due to co-occurring child abuse, will be identified, and the impact of domestic violence on parenting will be discussed. The facilitators will then provide some guiding principles for safe, effective Family Court response to domestic violence, and lead participants in discussion about the implications of these guiding principles for their practice, including regarding custody and visitation decision-making, risk assessment, connection of victims and children with services and support, and offender accountability.


Judge Jerry Bowles

Judge Jerry Bowles is a retired Circuit Judge from Jefferson County, Kentucky, where he presided for 20 years in Family Court. Originally appointed by the Governor, he was three times elected to his judicial seat. An internationally known expert in domestic and family violence, Judge Bowles lectures, writes and consults on the issue. He has served on a number of task forces, councils and boards charged with addressing issues of domestic violence. Prior to the bench, Judge Bowles worked as a Trial Attorney with the Jefferson District Public Defenders Office, was in private practice where he specialized in domestic relations law and general litigation, and for twelve years served as a prosecutor and director of the County Attorney’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit. In addition to his work throughout the United States, the United Kingdom and Kazakhstan, Judge Bowles was invited by the Supreme Court of the People’s Republic of China to serve as faculty at a domestic violence judicial education program in Chongqing, a national domestic violence conference in Xi’an, and at a national domestic violence conference in Beijing for the Chinese Criminal Court Judges. Since retiring, he has advanced domestic violence initiatives in Sarajevo, Bosnia and throughout Kosovo by providing judicial training . He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.

Kathryn Ford, LCSW

As Children and Families Specialist at the Center for Court Innovation, Kathryn Ford, LCSW provides training and technical assistance to state and tribal justice systems through both the Tribal Justice Exchange and the Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence and Family Court Programs team. This includes assisting with community needs assessment, development and dissemination of best practices, authoring publications, and providing support around justice program development and management. Ms. Ford has published articles in Sexual Assault Report, Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly, and NCADV’s The Voice, has authored several Center publications, and has conducted training workshops for over 4,000 participants from multiple disciplines. Ms. Ford also provided trauma-focused therapy and court support services to children, teens and their caregivers for nine years through the Center’s Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program, which is located at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, and provides extensive clinical supervision to colleagues working in the justice system as the Center’s Director of Clinical Supervision. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Ford was a social worker in Safe Horizon's Supervised Visitation Program at Bronx Family Court and an intern in the Kings County District Attorney's Office’s Counseling Services Unit. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Tufts University and a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University, and is certified in Rape Crisis Counseling.

*CLE & CLU credits have been applied for.

This seminar was supported by Grant No. 2011-CW-AX-K007 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.