History and Timeline

History

The Institute was established with a gift from Howell Ferguson in the mid-1990s. Since the establishment of the Institute until her retirement in early 2006, the Founding Director, Sharon Maxwell Ferguson, worked on developing lasting relationships with a number of state, federal and private entities.

Dr. Wendy Crook was appointed Director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies upon Dr. Maxwell’s retirement. Upon Dr. Crook’s retirement, Karen Oehme was appointed the Institute Director in 2007.

Mission Statement of Institute for Family Violence Studies

The mission of the Institute for Family Violence Studies (IFVS) within Florida State University’s College of Social Work is to conduct rigorous research, build comprehensive national trainings, and develop and promote sound public policy to support healthy families and reduce all forms of family violence.

The activities of the IFVS include:

  • Conducting and disseminating important research on all aspects of family violence
  • Building innovative, national scale research-based training projects for at risk families and for professionals such as social workers, medical professionals, law enforcement, and others who provide interventions to those families
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of family violence interventions and developing innovative evidence-informed programs
  • Promoting effective legislative solutions for reducing family violence
  • Leading the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation with training, technical assistance, and research on child welfare and family court interventions
  • Maintaining extensive resources on research related to families, violence, and interventions.
  • Advocating for safe and healthy families in the court system
  • Collaborating with state, national, and international organizations that support families
  • Mentoring FSU students in a supportive environment and building their research, writing, and leadership skills that translate into success in the workplace.

Timeline

1996

  • The Institute was established with a $100,000 donation from Howell Ferguson.
  • Dr. Sharon Maxwell was appointed as the Founding Director of the Institute.
  • Received first State of Florida grant: $100,000 to create “A Competency-Based Manual for Florida’s Supervised Visitation Providers”
  • Created “The Family Visitation Times” – The first and only newsletter for supervised visitation providers

1997

  • Davis Productivity Award given to Dr. Sharon Maxwell and Karen Oehme for outstanding service to taxpaying citizens

1998

  • Opened The Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation, the flagship program of the Institute, directed by Karen Oehme, J.D.

1999

  • Created “The Bar and Bench Visitation Report” – The first and only newsletter for the legal system on supervised visitation issues
  • Received grant from the US Department of Justice – Office of Violence Against Women to developed DV training manuals and workshops for human service professionals such as elder services staff and WIC personnel
  • Developed a curriculum for family practice residents with TMRMC

2000

  • Published “Florida’s Domestic Violence Needs Assessment 2000”
  • Developed training materials and live workshops for animal abuse investigators and community mental health staff.

2001

  • Published the first of many law review articles on supervised visitation
  • Converted all DV training manuals to online tutorials available free of charge worldwide.

2002

  • Created “The Law Enforcement Guide to Supervised Visitation”

2003

  • Published “Sexual Abuse Referrals to Supervised Visitation”
  • Sponsored the Tallahassee Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.
  • Created new online tutorial funded by the US Dept of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women – “The Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment”

2004

  • Published “A Toolkit for Collaboration between Florida’s Universities and Supervised Visitation Programs”

2005

  • Created Referrals to “Supervised Visitation Programs: A Manual for Judges” in manual and online versions. This is only the second on-line judge’s manual approved by the State Courts Administrator for continuing judicial education credit in FL.
  • Established an online data collection system for Florida’s supervised visitation programs.
  • Conducted a Pilot Program evaluation of supervised visitation services.

2006

  • Founding Director Dr. Sharon Maxwell retired from the University
  • Dr. Wendy Crook appointed Director of the Institute
  • Published “A Training Manual for Florida’s Supervised Visitation Programs,” issued with an accompanying CD-ROM containing Administrative Materials.
  • Evaluated the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment live trainings for FCADV with a comparison to the Institute’s online tutorial.
  • Evaluated the Legal Initiative on Domestic Violence for FCADV.
  • Conducted research on the use of emergency contraception for rape victims in Florida emergency rooms.
  • Three year contract awarded by DCF
  • Created the “E-Press,” a monthly electronic newsletter for supervised visitation providers.

2007

  • Published the Institute’s first social work journal article: “Characteristics of supervised visitation programs serving child maltreatment and other cases.” Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention.
  • The Clearinghouse received the Supervised Visitation Network’s Judith Wallach President’s Award from the Supervised Visitation network for Outstanding Service and Contribution to the Supervised Visitation Network.
  • Dr. Crook retires; Karen Oehme is named Institute Director.

2008

  • Published the Report to the Florida Legislature: Recommendations of the Supervised Visitation Standards Committee
  • Published Visitation Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases: Lessons from One State’s Experience, in Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender, and Society
  • Joined forces with law enforcement agencies throughout Florida, and developed the Law Enforcement Families Partnership, to reduce and prevent officer-involved domestic violence.

2009

  • Online Training – Officer-Involved Domestic Violence: A Prevention Curriculum, goes live. By 2011, over 25,000 criminal justice officers take at least one module of the Florida domestic violence curriculum.

2010

  • Zachary Summerlin, MSW is hired as a full-time Project Manager.
  • The Institute announces the development of a new project:  The Alliance for Faith-Based Efforts to End Domestic Violence.
  • The Law Enforcement Families Partnership is awarded a Prudential-Davis Productivity Award.
  • The Institute receives a grant from the federal Administration for Children and Families (within the Department of Health and Human Services) to develop a pilot program aimed at enhancing child support payments in low-income families.
  • The Verizon Foundation supports the work of the Law Enforcement Families Partnership with a $50,000 grant.

2011

  • Karen Oehme is named a Florida State University “Distinguished University Scholar.”
  • The Institute launches a new project, entitled “Financial Literacy and Community Sustainability.”
  • The Law Enforcement Families Partnership is awarded another Prudential-Davis Productivity Award.
  • The Verizon Foundation renews its support with an additional $50,000 grant.
  • The Institute launches the Family Violence Journal Club within the College of Social Work and sponsors several community events to raise awareness about domestic violence.

2012

  • The Law Enforcement Families Partnership is awarded another Prudential-Davis Productivity Award.
  • The Institute signs a 3 year contract with the Department of Children and Families to fund the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation.
  • The Verizon Foundation renews its support for the Institute with an additional $50,000 grant.
  • The Institute completes the “Financial Literacy and Community Sustainability” project.
  • The Institute’s Director Karen Oehme presents on The National Toolkit on Officer-Involved Domestic Violence at the 17th Annual International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma in San Diego, CA.

2013

  • The Verizon Foundation supports the online Toolkit “Screening for Domestic Violence: A Training for Medical Professionals” with a $90,000 grant.
  • The Institute develops Florida State University’s Health Relationships Toolkit with a grant from Guy and Delores Spearman.
  • The Institute began producing child welfare E-Books on the protective factors that sustain healthy families.
  • The Institute hosts a visiting scholar, Agnes Muhongerwa, from Rwanda.
  • The Institute’s Director Karen Oehme presents on Screening for Domestic Violence by Medical Professionals at the 18th Annual International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma.

2014

  • Carly Starkey, MSW becomes the full-time Project Manager.
  • The Institute completes the “Screening for Domestic Violence: A Training for Medical Professionals.”
  • The Verizon Foundation continues its support for the Institute’s Law Enforcement Families Partnership with a $25,000 grant. More than 20,000 officers in the U. S. have now taken the national version of the online prevention training.
  • The Institute finishes development of the Protective Factors E-Books and trains supervised visitation programs on them.
  • Working with undergraduate students, the Institute launches a Social Media E Book.  Our online presence is prominent.
  • The Institute’s Director Karen Oehme presents on New Strategies to Prevent Officer-Involved Domestic Violence at the Council of Governments Meeting in Washington, D.C.
  • The Institute’s Director Karen Oehme presents on Lessons from the National Prevention Toolkit on Officer-Involved Domestic Violence at the 19th Annual International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma.

2015

  • Thallia Malespin, MSW is hired as the new full time Project Manager.
  • The Institute signed a new 3-year contract with the Department of Children and Families to fund the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation.
  • The Institute welcomed former Dean of the FSU College of Social Work, Nick Mazza, Ph.D., to the Community Advisory Board.
  • The Institute began development of a new and updated training manual for supervised visitation providers. The manual will include 14 chapters relevant to supervised visitation.
  • Joining campus initiatives, the Institute has become a member of the Coordinated Community Response Team to address prevention efforts for power-based personal violence.
  • The Institute created a new focus on female law enforcement officers as part of the LEFP and produced “A Guide for Campus Law Enforcement Agencies: How to Recruit Female Officers.”
  • As part of the Women in Law Enforcement Project, The Institute has collaborated with Chief of FSUPD, David Perry, to create a recruitment video for female law enforcement officers at FSU.
  • The Institute launches the interdisciplinary “Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce” Toolkit project with a $250,000 gift from the Vandermark Foundation. The College of Communication and Information and the College of Education are our partners.
  • The “Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce” Toolkit was approved for continuing legal education credits, continuing education units for mental health professionals, and has also been approved as a parent education and family stabilization course in Florida.
  • The Institute partnered with the Office of Distance Learning to produce a Blackboard Training that would be available for free to all service providers. The training is titled “Understanding Domestic Violence as a Social Services Professional and provides continuing education units for mental health professionals in the state of Florida.
  • In 2015, Director Karen Oehme published the following: Donnelly, E., Valentine, C., & Oehme, K. (2015). Law enforcement officers and employee assistance programs. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 38(2), pp. 206 – 220. Oehme, K., Stern, N., & Mennicke, A. (2015). A deficiency in addressing campus sexual assault: The lack of women law enforcement officers. Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, 38, 401.
  • Karen Oehme presented at the 24th Annual Supervised Visitation Network Conference in Clearwater, FL to discuss the six protective factors to strengthen vulnerable families.
  • Karen Oehme presented at the End Violence Against Women International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Campus Responses in New Orleans, LA to discuss officer-involved domestic violence.

2016

  • Kirsten Castillo, MSW, is hired as the new full-time project manager.
  • Ann Perko, J.D., is hired as Director of Special Projects
  • The Institute begins working on the Spanish version of the interdisciplinary “Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce” Toolkit project with a $100,000 gift from the Vandermark Foundation.
  • Karen Oehme presented at the 25th Annual Supervised Visitation Network Conference to discuss Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce.
  • Karen Oehme presented at the Annual Meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association in San Diego, CA, on Officer-Involved Domestic Violence: Effects of a Web-Based Training.
  • Karen Oehme presented at the meeting of the New York Chapter of the Supervised Visitation Network in Brooklyn, NY, on Protective Factors in supervised visitation.
  • In 2016, we published the following:
    • Ferraro, A., Malespin, T., Oehme, K., Bruker, M., & Opel, A. (2016). Advancing Co-parenting Education: Toward a Foundation for Supporting Positive Post-Divorce Adjustment. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 33, 407-415. doi:10.1007/s10560-016-0440-x.
    • Oehme, K., Prost, S., & Saunders, D. G. (2016). Police responses to cases of officer-involved domestic violence: The effects of a brief web-based training. Policing: A Journal of Policy & Practice, 10(4), 391-407. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paw039
    • Donnelly, E., Oehme, K., & Melvin, R. (2016). What do EMS personnel think about domestic violence? An exploration of attitudes and experiences after participation in training. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 38, 64-69. doi:10.1016/j.jflm.2015.11.020
    • Mennicke, A., Gromer, J., Oehme, K., & Macconnie, L. (2016). Workplace Experiences of Gay and Lesbian Criminal Justice Officers in the United States: A Qualitative Investigation of Officers Attending a LGBT Law Enforcement Conference. Policing and Society, 1-18. doi:10.1080/10439463.2016.1238918
    • Oehme, K., Stern, N., Donnelly, E., & Melvin, R. (2016). Improving the emergency medical services system’s response to domestic violence. Health Matrix: The Journal of Law and Medicine, 26(1), 173-204. Retrieved from http://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/healthmatrix/vol26/iss1/9
    • Saunders, D., Prost, S., & Oehme, K. (2016). Responses to Cases of Officer Domestic Violence: Effects of Demographic and Professional Factors. Journal of Family Violence, 31(6), 771-784. doi:10.1007/s10896-016-9822-2
    • Stern, M., Oehme, K., & Stern, N. (2016). A test to identify and remedy anti-gay bias in child custody decisions after Obergefell. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 23(2), 79-100. Retrieved from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/3qs5h050
    • Oehme, K., & Prost, S. (2016). Preventing Officer-Involved Domestic Violence: Leadership Challenges and Opportunities. In R.J. Burke (Ed.), Stress in Policing: Sources, Consequences and Interventions. Gower Publishers: UK.
    • Oehme, K., & Ferraro, A. (2016, November). Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce: FSU’s New Research and Service Project. FLAFCC Newsletter, 2-3.

2017

  • Kirsten Castillo, MSW, gave a presentation on the effects of childhood trauma on children’s development at Brehon House- a maternity home for pregnant women experiencing homelessness.
  • Morgan Lodes is hired as the new full-time project manager.
  • The Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce toolkit is awarded a Prudential-Davis Productivity Award.
  • The Institute completed work on the new and updated Training Manual for Supervised Visitation Providers.
  • In 2017, as part of the LGBTQ Family Life Project, the Institute team developed a dataset of high school student attitudes about violence against transgender individuals. We used content analysis on a national set of online U.S. student newspapers.
  • The Institute added new components to the National Prevention Toolkit based on our data analysis. The new additions include information on how officers identify the primary aggressor, resources for police chaplains, the issue of couples counseling in domestic violence cases, and evidence that the toolkit training works.
  • As part of our Family Violence Journal Club, we had guest speaker, Mark Stern from Slate Magazine, to discuss issues related to the current climate around the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Karen Oehme presented at the 26th Annual Supervised Visitation Network Conference in San Antonio, Texas, on the Moral Foundation Theory and Promoting Supervised Visitation Services.
  • Director, Karen Oehme, and Dr. Anthony Ferraro traveled to Tokyo in August. They met with faculty from Tokyo International University to discuss a Japanese version of the Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce Toolkit.
  • In 2017, we published the following:
    • Oehme, K., Ferraro, A. J., Stern, N., Panisch, L. S., & Lucier-Greer, M. (2017). Trauma-Informed Co-Parenting: How a Shift in Compulsory Divorce Education to Reflect New Brain Development Research Can Promote Both Parents’ and Children’s Best Interests. University of Hawaii Law Review, 39(37), 1-10.

 

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