Crucial to improving the healthcare response to IPV is developing working relationships with local domestic violence agencies. DV advocates can train and provide resources to healthcare workers and can accept referrals from health centers. These networks can also help DV advocates make appropriate healthcare referrals to survivors. NCCADV helped facilitate this relationship building process as a first step in building this program. How do you find a health center to partner with? Here are some ideas to consider:
- health centers in your immediate geographic area
- health centers with behavioral health on site
- health centers where there are provider champions or healthcare staff who are committed to addressing IPV
- healthcare workers you have a personal relationship with
- Is there a community health center near you?
Developing an MOU
It may be helpful for health centers and DV agencies to develop a mutually-agreed upon memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines the expectations, communications and referral agreements between both parties. MOUs can assist in efficient coordination of care for patients experiencing IPV. NCCADV adapted a Futures Without Violence MOU template for use by participating health centers and DV agencies.