However, some survivors face serious barriers to safely pursuing and receiving child support. The Safe Access for Victims’ Economic Security (SAVES) Center is a national resource center that provides research, training, technical assistance, policy direction, and collaboration guidance to increase safe access to child support, parenting time, and establishment of parentage for survivors of domestic violence. As a national resource center, the SAVES Center supports the vision of the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) to ensure that every survivor who wants or needs child support, parenting time, and establishment of parentage services receives those services from a trauma-informed and culturally responsive child support program.
Child support is an important source of economic stability and a way to increase financial independence for survivors of domestic violence.
The SAVES Center aims to build the evidence and knowledge base needed to better serve survivors through:
Providing technical assistance to 13 SAVES demonstration sites and the national child support program to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of safe access initiatives.
Conducting an evaluation of promising interventions SAVES demonstration sites implement to enhance survivor safety.
Conducting research to:
- Better understand the needs and safety of survivors in and out of the child support system.
- Learn how new and existing policies and practices support or hinder survivors’ interest in and ability to safely access child support services.
Enhancing, creating, and delivering trainings on practices that promote safe access to child support, parenting time, and establishment of parentage.
Developing, curating, and disseminating resources and research on child support, parenting time, and domestic violence.
The SAVES Center is a collaboration of partner organizations overseen by the Colorado Division of Child Support Services. These partners include:
Colorado Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), within the Colorado Office of Economic Security, is Colorado’s state-supervised, county-administered child support program. DCSS has experience implementing OCSS 1115 demonstration and evaluation grants in many areas including in-hospital paternity, domestic violence, and parenting time. For the SAVES Center, DCSS provides project leadership and oversight and is also the recipient of a SAVES demonstration grant.
Center for Policy Research (CPR) improves the lives of individuals, children, and families who face social and economic barriers by providing customized research, evaluation, and technical assistance to human services practitioners and policymakers. Since 1981, CPR has developed deep expertise on the child support system through conducting research, policy, and demonstration projects with agencies in over 35 states. CPR co-leads the SAVES Center’s research, evaluation, and policy activities with Child Trends.
Child Trends is the leading research organization in the United States focused solely on improving the lives of children and youth. For over 40 years, Child Trends’ research and strategic communications have shaped public policies that affect children and families, strengthened an array of social services, and increased public awareness of family issues. Child Trends leads the SAVES Center’s dissemination efforts and co-leads its research, evaluation, and policy activities with CPR.
The National Center to Advance Peace for Children, Youth, and Families (NCAP) led by Caminar Latino-Latinos United for Peace and Equity (LUPE), is a federally funded resource center that works to ensure that domestic violence cases involving children and youth are handled in a manner that recognizes the intersection of complex legal, cultural, and psychological dynamics of domestic violence. NCAP is a coalition of national culturally specific domestic violence organizations who engage the capacity of their own communities to solve their own problems and includes Ujima: National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community, the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, as well as Futures Without Violence. NCAP leads the SAVES Center’s training and technical assistance efforts, as well as its strategies to promote equity and engage survivors.
The SAVES Center also convenes an advisory committee of representatives from groups including domestic violence survivors, domestic violence service providers and advocacy groups, child support services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agencies, legal services providers, fatherhood organizations, and courts.
The SAVES Center works closely with 13 SAVES demonstration sites to support and learn from them as they implement various policies and practices aimed at increasing safety and fair access for survivors in their local child support system. Learn more about the SAVES demonstration sites and their safe access interventions.