The Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) is an on-call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week program that partners with local police departments and health care professionals by responding to the scene of the incident, and/or at police departments and hospital emergency rooms. This immediate response includes crisis counseling, safety planning, resource referrals, assistance with the Protection from Abuse Order process and follow-up services. The DART program is managed by Stacy Sweinhart. Stacy will be assisted by DART Advocate, Ashley Thompson, as well as by a team of highly trained volunteers.
Since our inception over 30 years ago, Laurel House has continuously grown and expanded services, ultimately resulting in the comprehensive domestic violence agency that we are today. Our Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) program for law enforcement is one of our largest growing programs, having started in collaboration with just 5 police departments; it has expanded to over 42 departments. During a time when requests for services are increasing and our funding is remaining level, we must look at all ways in which we, as an organization, can make the biggest impact with the least resources. As a result, we have decided to combine our DART Medical Advocacy Project (MAP) and DART II for Law Enforcement programs. Despite being run separately, both programs offered immediate crisis response to victims of domestic violence. The main difference between the two programs was the referring source: DART MAP worked with health care professionals while DART II worked with law enforcement officers. Effective immediately Laurel House’s DART program will provide trained advocates to provide immediate, in-person response to victims of domestic violence when referred by law enforcement or medical personnel.
Recognizing that law enforcement and health care professionals are often the first point of contact for domestic violence, Laurel House started the DART program.
DART staff are available to work with local police departments and healthcare professionals on how to develop protocols and procedures regarding domestic violence cases. Our team also works closely with the District Attorney's office and other service providers to deliver comprehensive training programs for law enforcement and health care professionals throughout Montgomery County.