Initiative for Violence-Free Families---The Family Partnership: Hennepin County, Minnesota

The Initiative for Violence-Free Families, a program of Family & Children Service, improves community health and safety through a public health model that encompasses the Spectrum of Prevention: individual and community education; the strengthening of individual knowledge and skills; education of service providers; building coalitions/networks to change organizational practices and influence the policies of institutions; and mobilizing county residents from all walks of life and socio-economic levels to take action together.

Through IVFF’s Action Teams, individuals and organizations are linked with research and resources, and are motivated to take action to prevent violence. As a result, people find practical ways to prevent violence in their immediate lives and in their neighborhoods, and to change the systems that perpetuate or accommodate violence.
IVFF targets:
  • Schools to engage staff and students in promoting protective factors against violence
  • Men to speak out against domestic violence
  • Health care clinics and family-serving organizations to transmit to families the practical ways to make and keep peace at home
  • Gun owners to keep guns locked and out of the hands of our youth
  • North Minneapolis residents to unite and adopt a norm that refuses to tolerate domestic violence
  • Clergy and seminarians to use the pulpit to promote peace and non-violence in families


Domestic Abuse Prevention work

Advocating and supporting policy and procedural change in health clinics, schools, faith communities and other community institutions.
  • Advocating for implementation of state and federal laws to prevent access to firearms for perpetrators of domestic violence.
  • Organizing awareness events for Domestic Violence Prevention Month.
  • Activating men to take action to prevent family violence. This includes developing monthly Domestic Peace Action messages.

Child Abuse Prevention work

  • Convening and staffing the Hennepin County Child Abuse Prevention Council, one of the 87 county-level councils in Minnesota.
  • Organizing awareness events for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
  • Training Hennepin County residents and institutions on safe and respectful intervention strategies to prevent child abuse.
  • Producing and distributing child abuse prevention materials that support developmentally appropriate and nonviolent discipline.

Youth Violence Prevention work

  • Training Hennepin County school personnel and youth workers on building healthy and safe school environments.
  • Training Hennepin County school personnel and youth workers on building strong student/school connectedness.
  • Training Hennepin County parents how to support strong school/student connectedness.
  • Teaming with strategic partners to inform parents about violence risk and protective factors that will influence non-violent behavior in their children.
  • Supporting Hennepin County schools to build climate and connectedness committees.
  • Using a variety of strategies to reduce youth access to guns