SAFER: Strategies for Addressing Family Violence and Enhancing Resilience

SAFER is available to all Child Welfare Case Managers and Child Welfare Protective Investigators in Florida!


The first cohort will begin October 23, 2023.

Applications are now closed.

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SAFER provides practical tools to address domestic violence in cases of child maltreatment. Participants will build expertise in domestic violence-related child welfare cases.

The course material addresses the:

  • complex dynamics of domestic violence
  • intersection of child maltreatment and domestic violence
  • practical trauma-informed skills
  • prevention strategies for primary and secondary trauma

Developed with input from DCF leadership, lead agency representatives, case management service representatives, and other stakeholders for child welfare professionals, SAFER is a university-led, evidence-based, trauma-informed, engaging domestic violence training. It motivates, educates, and improves the skills of the child welfare workforce to improve child safety, especially for families impacted by domestic violence.

100% free and online
12-18 hours of self-paced content
Includes a virtual synchronous session led by an expert in child protective investigations and domestic violence cases
Provides opportunities for participants to connect with peers
Offers coaching support for reinforcement and practice
100% free and online
12-18 hours of self-paced content
Includes a virtual synchronous session led by an expert in child protective investigations and domestic violence cases
Provides opportunities for participants to connect with peers
Offers coaching support for reinforcement and practice
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SAFER is eligible for CEUs by the Florida Certification Board
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SAFER is connected to Advancement Criteria on the DCF Career Ladder
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A Certificate of Completion will be issued by Florida State University upon successful completion of the SAFER Advanced Certification Course.


Eligible participants include child welfare Case Managers and child welfare Protective Investigators who have finished pre-service training. Other child welfare direct service providers should reach out for consideration.

Application Process

The application consists of three parts: participant acknowledgement, supervisor acknowledgement, and responses to two reflection questions. Applications are due by September 27, 2023 and supervisors must submit the supervisor acknowledgement by September 29 for an application to be considered complete.

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Meet Our Facilitator & Coach

Necia Little
Course Facilitator
Necia Little profile

Necia Little graduated from Florida State University College of Social Work in 1996. Upon graduation with her BSW, she quickly learned that she has a passion for child welfare. She spent the better part of her career assisting and supporting children and families through her work with the Department of Children and Families, where she currently serves as an Operations Manager for Child Protective Investigations. She is a Certified Public Manager as well.

Necia is passionate about serving and leading others in child welfare. She understands how critical it is to support the work of her team and provide frontline staff with the tools necessary to conduct the very crucial work they do with families every day. One of her primary passions includes the importance of self-care and establishing a work-life balance within child welfare work. She was recognized at the 2023 Florida Institute for Child Welfare Symposium for her leadership in child welfare.

Necia is a Tallahassee resident and enjoys many activities that the community has to offer such as boating, beaching, and fitness challenges. She is a long-time Seminole Booster and missed only a handful of home football games in the past twenty years of her being

Lyndi Bradley, MSW
Virtual Engagement & Learning Coach
Lyndi Bradley, MSW profile

Lyndi Bradley is a dedicated Program Manager for the Institute for Family Violence Studies (IFVS). She is devoted to supporting professionals working with families experiencing domestic violence through research and evidence-based practices. One of her notable achievements is leading the development of the SAFER Advanced Certification.

With a Master's in Social Work earned from FSU's College of Social Work in 2018, Lyndi has consistently displayed a deep commitment to the field. Currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership & Policy at FSU, her research interests encompass critical areas such as child welfare, trauma-informed care, resilience, and domestic violence.

Lyndi's mission is crystal clear, to be a reliable pillar of support for all participants navigating through this advanced certification program. With her vast knowledge and compassionate nature, Lyndi serves as an ideal guide, empowering professionals to positively impact families affected by domestic violence.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Lyndi is an avid bookworm who finds solace in a good book's pages. She also values spending quality time with her husband and dogs, as well as finding inspiration through the tranquility and peace of the beach.

Lyndi's warmth and empathy make her approachable and supportive as a mentor and colleague. Through her passion for empowering professionals and unyielding dedication to her work, she serves as a beacon of hope in the fight against domestic violence.

If you're ready to take the next step in making a real difference in the lives of families in need, Lyndi is here to guide you every step of the way.

Learning Objectives

Through the Strategies for Addressing Family Violence and Enhancing Resilience (SAFER) Advanced Certification course, you will gain skills to:
  • Understand the intersection of domestic violence and child maltreatment
  • Understand victim experiences including the impact of domestic violence on children
  • Identify ways to enhance worker and client safety in cases involving domestic violence
  • Be familiar with a trauma-informed approach when working with families experiencing domestic violence
  • Integrate new practical skills into everyday work

Course Outline

The AdCert includes six self-paced, online course chapters with two virtual, synchronous sessions to practice and reinforce learned skills.

  • Identify common perpetrator characteristics, dynamics, tactics, and behaviors
  • Examine the risk factors of becoming a domestic violence perpetrator
  • Review the public health model for intervention and prevention of domestic violence
  • Understand the concepts of gaslighting and coercive control
  • Examine the impact of domestic violence on parenting
  • Understand the importance that perpetrator accountability has for child safety
  • Recognize the systemic barriers to holding perpetrators accountable for domestic violence
  • Understand the prevalence, demographics, and dynamics of domestic violence for victims in the U.S.
  • Identify the risk and protective factors of domestic violence victimization
  • Examine the impact of violence on victims
  • Recognize interrelated domestic violence and child welfare protective factors
  • Describe the components of a trauma-informed approach and why it is essential when working with clients experiencing domestic violence.
  • Explain the guiding principles for child welfare professionals working with families experiencing domestic violence.
  • Discuss several ways a professional can use trauma-informed principles to assist victims experiencing domestic violence.
  • List at least one way to help children exposed to domestic violence for each age group: zero to five, six to eleven, and 12 to 18
  • Understand the importance of documentation in cases involving domestic violence
  • Apply a trauma-informed approach in everyday practices
  • Identify the benefits and strategies of effective family engagement
  • Understand the factors that should be considered when closing a case involving domestic violence
  • Define and recognize the workplace stressors and safety concerns of child welfare professionals
  • Identify steps to enhance safety of child welfare professionals
  • Understand the impact of primary trauma, burnout, vicarious/secondary trauma, and compassion fatigue
  • Identify risk and protective factors for primary trauma, burnout, vicarious/secondary trauma, and compassion fatigue
  • Identify new skills, including coping strategies and self-care
  • Define the role of supervisors, managers, and administrators in supporting case workers’ safety and well-being
  • Define the roles of supervisors and agencies in addressing the effects of trauma
  • Use trauma-sensitive methods of communication to increase the likelihood of shared understanding between client and professional
  • Describe basic strategies of motivational interviewing
  • Practice skills for partnership and engagement with children, youth, and families, including de-escalation
  • Build a sense of safety with children, youth, and families
  • Describe ways to engage in successful partnerships with families
  • Identify strength-based approaches and protective factors that build physical and psychological safety of children and families
  • Explain steps in delivering services and social support to children and families that promote resilience

Synchronous Training Session

This synchronous training session will focus on applying and reinforcing topics introduced in Chapters 1-6, including trauma-informed approaches with domestic violence victims; screening for domestic violence, dangerousness, and risk assessments; safety planning; practicing skills for successful engagement with and building safety for families experiencing domestic violence; assessing and preventing secondary traumatization in child welfare staff and practicing new skills that can build resilience for clients and child welfare staff.

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