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Violence Against Women. 2009 Jun;15(6):638-55. doi: 10.1177/1077801209332189. Epub 2009 Apr 2.

Implementing mental health treatment for batterer program participants: interagency breakdowns and underlying issues.

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Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA.


The implementation of a screening and referral system for supplemental mental health treatment among batterer program participants was investigated in a 2-year formative evaluation. The research team conducted direct observation of the agency procedures, participation in training and supervision meetings, debriefing interviews with administrators, and informal conversations with staff and clients. Inconsistencies and breakdowns associated with nearly every step of the screening and referral process were identified, for example, notification of referral instructions and verification of clinical compliance. Court sanctions for referral noncompliance remained inconsistent even during court-mandated referral. Several underlying issues were also exposed: administrative absenteeism and turnover, administrative-staff gaps, client overload, and differing agency priorities. These issues reinforce the challenges facing coordinated community response.

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