Build upon the information gathered from the woman during the arrival process regarding her needs, by working with the woman to understand:
- Her current resources, including existing connections or contacts made with service providers.
- Services that the woman has found useful in the past and what was useful about them.
- The issues and needs that are most important to her at the current time.
- Her goals and priorities related to the identified issues and needs, which can be discussed using a list of goal areas and examples of specific goals common for women escaping violence. For example, obtaining employment and if necessary educational support or skills training; finding housing separate from the perpetrator and securing child custody, among others.
Employ problem-solving methods to reflect on and generate alternative options to the situation, and assist women to choose the most appropriate of the alternatives, using the following steps:
- Identify an issue or situation that needs resolution and make a commitment to take action to address it.
- Define the problem in clear and specific terms, by identifying the people involved and the needs of each person, which is important to develop and implement effective solutions.
- Gather information needed to understand the problem, including facts and feelings.
- Brainstorm potential solutions to the problem, making effort to identify new and creative ideas.
- Evaluate the potential solutions by discussing each idea with the woman to see how well it is likely to meet the needs of those involved (e.g. her and her children).
- Select the best solution, being clear about who will do what, when and how.
- Implement the solution.
- Monitor implementation of the plan and make adjustments along the way when something is not working.
- Evaluate the impact, by exploring the overall situation after it has been implemented to see if a problem still exists. If there is still a problem, the process is repeated.
Develop an individualized plan to address her goals and aspirations, which:
- Identifies the woman’s goals.
- Describes the services needed by the woman to achieve her goals.
- Identifies the specific organizations, individuals, and resources that may be best suited to the woman’s specific needs.
- Describes the actions to be taken by the survivor, different service providers and organizations (including their timeframe) in order to achieve the identified goals.
Assist, encourage and support the woman to take the actions described in the plan, and/or advocate with her or on her behalf (as needed).
Record the case plan, engage the woman to monitor her activities, progress and achievements, and revise the plan as needed. This can help evaluate the plan’s effectiveness, modify it when needed, and provide any necessary assistance required to move it forward. This stage involves:
- Recording progress made toward completing actions and achieving goals.
- Reviewing the woman’s situation with her and ensure that the plan includes appropriate actions, which can be expected to meet the woman’s needs and goals.
- Assisting the woman to follow through on action items or advocate on her behalf.
- Adjusting the plan as necessary (British Columbia Housing, 2010).
BC Housing (2010). Case planning guide for homelessness services providers. British Columbia Housing Management Commission.