Summary: Osofsky JD, Hammer JH, Freeman N, and Rovaris JM. "How law enforcement and mental health professionals can partner to help traumatized children," in Osofsky JD, ed, Young Children and Trauma: Intervention and Treatment, 285-298. New York: Guilford. 2004.

This chapter describes the Safe Start Initiative, a program established by the Violence Intervention Project in New Orleans. The initiative was a multidisciplinary effort to assist children who had been exposed to domestic violence. Police officers were trained to provide effective interventions for the children they encountered during domestic violence calls. Safe Start also established crisis response teams that could be deployed to provide on-site assistance when necessary.

In addition to describing specific aspects of the Safe Start program, this chapter offers strategies for gaining the trust and cooperation of police, and offers lessons learned from the partnership.