QUICK ESCAPE FROM SITE

Needs assessment and support planning

A needs assessment and support plan should be completed to determine whether a sanctuary scheme is a safe and viable option. It is also an important process for women who return to their homes following a stay in a shelter or alternative accommodation.

Assessments should considering whether:

  • it is confirmed that the perpetrator has left the property.
  • a comprehensive risk assessment has taken place and does not indicate high-risk for the woman.
  • the property and surrounding area have been assessed and are suitable for sanctuary.
  • the woman has an informed understanding of the security measures that are required, and agrees to the implementation of such measures.

Needs assessment and support planning includes three stages:

  • Completion of the assessment as soon as possible after referral, which can inform the security measures and supports a woman will need to maintain her safety at home.
  • Creation of a support plan (including safety plan) within 5 days of completing the needs assessment.
  • Review of the needs assessment, support plan, and safety plan one month following implementation, and at least every three months thereafter, or when significant change occurs in the woman’s circumstances

(based on Jones, et. al, 2010. Sanctuary Schemes for Households at Risk of Domestic Violence: Practice Guide for Agencies Developing and Delivering Sanctuary Schemes;and National Housing Law Project, 2009. Domestic Violence and Housing: A Manual and Toolkit for California Advocates)

 

Illustrative example: Needs Assessment and Support Planning (London, United Kingdom)

The following categories should be covered through dialogue with a woman and her children, which can facilitate identification of risk factors and needs as a woman has built up trust. Some issues are of greater immediate priority than others (for example, safety of survivors and her children, child contact issues, contact with perpetrator). Other issues may also be covered at the outset, or if more appropriate, left until subsequent meetings.

A. ADULT SERVICE USERS

1. Personal details

2. Safety

3. Access to support and advice

4. Physical health

5. Mental health and emotional well-being

6. Housing

7. Legal options

8. Financial situation

9. Children

10. Employment, education and training

11. Interests

12. Other

B. CHILD SERVICE USERS

1. Personal details

2. Safety

3. Physical health

4. Mental health and emotional well-being

5. Interests

6. Learning and education

7. Other

See the full Needs Assessment Template

Source: Excerpt from Jones, Bretherton, Bowles & Croucher 2010, Sanctuary Schemes for Households at Risk of Domestic Violence, Department for Communities and Local Government, London.

Tool:

Sanctuary Schemes for Households at Risk of Domestic Violence: Practice Guide for Agencies Developing and Delivering Sanctuary Schemes (Jones, et. al, 2010). Available in English.

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