Team model highlights safety

A Vernon program focused on high-risk domestic violence cases is drawing provincial praise.

A Vernon program focused on high-risk domestic violence cases is drawing provincial praise.

Stephanie Cadieux, children and family development minister, and Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster met with the regional  Interagency Case Assessment Team (ICAT) Friday.

“Domestic violence is much more than a private, family issue. It is an issue that affects entire communities, and, as such, it requires a  community response,” said Foster.

ICATs bring together partner groups and agencies, including police, child  welfare services, health and anti-violence workers with a goal of keeping  domestic violence victims and their children safer. These teams provide a  flexible, localized, consistent cross-sector mechanism for communities to  assess and share information on domestic violence risk, monitor suspects, initiate interventions and build a safety net for victims.

ICAT teams look for consensus in determining risk level. This allows for more informed decision-making about risk because information can be shared by a broader range of agency partners at the table. ICATs can also offer more resources to build seamless safety plans and initiate suspect intervention and monitoring.

“We have reviewed more than 100 highest risk domestic violence files, and due to the enhanced risk  management plans put in place for those families, we have not seen any  further violence in those cases,” said Brooke McLardy, local ICAT co-chairperson.