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Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2017
68 pages
This toolkit provides resources to assist police leaders and frontline officers in developing or improving responses to children exposed to violence.
Police officers are often the first professionals to arrive and assume the management of cases that involve violence against or in the presence of children. With the proper training and resources, police can be instrumental in creating a safe environment that will help children to have a sense of security and stability. They can be instrumental in assisting children and their families to address issues underlying conflict and violent behavior. Thirteen resources of information and guidance are contained in this toolkit: 1) a brief for law enforcement executives on the importance of assisting children exposed to violent; 2) an organizational self-assessment and action planning tool for developing appropriate training for officers in helping children exposed to violence; 3) an on-scene acute protocol for children exposed to violence; 4) a protocol for responding to the needs of children at scenes of domestic violence; 5) signs of children's traumatic stress reactions at the scene; 6) behaviors police may observe in children exposed to violence; 7) effective police responses to traumatic stress in children of different ages; 8) teaching the tactical breathing techniques to children and parents; 9) children's commonly asked questions and examples of police responses; 10) common issues for caregivers and police in responding to children exposed to violence; 11) a brochure for parents in responding to their children exposed to violence; 12) giving a death notification to children; and 13) officer's role with traumatized children.

Date Published: February 1, 2017