Domestic Violence Prevention Services Project

The Domestic Violence Prevention Services project establishes within Family Court a unique model for the special handling of domestic violence civil restraining orders when the parties have children in common. Increased and specialized judicial oversight and review are the cornerstones of this prevention based program.

Q: What is the Domestic Violence Prevention Services Project (DVPSP)?
A: The DVPSP program was developed and implemented by the Superior Court of California, County of Orange in 1997 to address the serious issue of domestic violence and its impact on children and victims. Highly trained Court Investigators gather background information, including police reports, child abuse reports and witness statements regarding domestic violence. The Court Investigator interviews each parent separately and at separate times. Children of an appropriate age may be interviewed. The court receives a written report detailing the Court Investigator’s finding and any recommendations for the protection of the victim and the children during visitation or visitation exchanges.

Q: When is a Domestic Violence Investigation ordered?
A: An investigation is ordered by the Court when a Temporary Restraining Order is requested by an individual. Only those cases in which there are children involved are eligible to participate in the Domestic Violence Prevention Services Project. The Domestic Violence Prevention Services Project includes a specialized assessment and investigation provided at no cost to the family. It is not a criminal investigation.

Q: How does the DVPSP investigation help the Court and who does it?
A: The investigation provides valuable information to the Court in the form of police reports, child abuse reports, criminal and DVPSP histories and witness statements. The information helps the Court determine who is the 'primary aggressor' and provides recommendations for a safe parenting plan. All investigations are performed by trained, experienced court staff assigned to Family Court Services. All Court Investigators are skilled professionals who have at least a Master's Degree and extensive clinical experience in the fields of psychology, marriage, family and child counseling, or social work. They are trained in investigations, domestic violence assessment and conflict resolution.