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Lessons Learned Implementing Community-based Comprehensive Case Management for Families Surviving Homicide

NCJ Number
Child & Family Social Work Volume: 22 Issue: 3 Dated: 11/2016 Pages: 1161-1174
J. C. Spilsbury; Nicole L. Phelps; Eileen Zata; Rosemary H. Creeden; Wendy C. Regoerzi
Date Published
November 2016
14 pages
Since family members of homicide victims often experience a wide range of adverse reactions to the homicide, this study reports on the Traumatic Loss Response Team, a project conducted by a community‐based, mental‐health agency to provide comprehensive case‐management services for homicide survivors' complex needs.
The study abstracted service/process data from open client cases in 2013 (most recent year with available data) and conducted interviews with the project's implementing agencies. Interviews revealed both initial challenges and factors facilitating successful implementation. Main challenges to overcome included gaining credibility and trust from police and addressing issues related to the overlap of services provided to families by numerous agencies that may become involved in homicide cases. Partners viewed the project as providing a range of important services to families, including acting as an intermediary/buffer between families and police. Regarding service data, of the 131 cases open in 2013, most were referred directly by police and involved community violence, an adult victim, and a firearm. Most of the 164 clients who received services were female, adult, African‐American, and parents of the deceased. Grief support was the most common among numerous services provided. The researchers hope that this study will catalyze the sharing of similar data and experiences among organizations providing services to homicide survivors. (Publisher abstract modified)