Linda Johanek, former chief executive officer, Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center
“This merger caused us to look at the entire array of systems — domestic relations court, juvenile court, law enforcement, child protective services — so that we can truly transform the way our community responds to both domestic violence and child abuse victims.”
Two organizations in Cleveland — one focused on preventing adult violence primarily on the city’s west side; the other focused on preventing child abuse primarily on the city’s east side — met to discuss how they might reduce their administrative expenditures through a back-office consolidation.
After initial conversations, the Domestic Violence Center of Greater Cleveland and the Bellflower Center for Prevention of Child Abuse realized that a back-office consolidation was not the only way they could work together. A merger would allow them to extend their reach and their services across all of Cleveland.
The Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center (DVCAC) now offers a continuum of prevention and intervention services focused on helping people of all ages throughout the Greater Cleveland area who are impacted by domestic violence and/or child abuse, as well as teen dating violence, stalking, and elder abuse. By cross-training advocates, social workers, and therapists, the center has increased its focus on best practice and evidence-based programs — and now has two federally funded projects that are being considered as models for replication nationally. In addition, the merger has allowed for increased advocacy for policy change where needed.