Component: Violence Against Women

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) Act

Service objectives

  • To provide early intervention to child witnesses of violence against women in order that they may heal from the harmful effects of witnessing violence and thus avoid the later need for more intensive supports
  • To support the development of a personal safety plan for women and their children who have experienced abuse, in order to confirm their immediate safety and help them avoid further abuse

Service description

Eligibility

  • Children 18 years of age or younger, who have witnessed violence against women and related forms of violence
  • The children may be residents of emergency shelter or bed-based places, children of women receiving counselling programs or living in the community
  • Women or Caregivers, age 16 years or older, whose children have witnessed abuse (alternate)

Safety planning

  • Services include the development of safety strategies or plans for women and their dependents
  • A safety plan identifies the steps a woman and their dependents can take to increase their safety and helps to prepare them for the possibility of further violence. It should include, but not be limited to
    • Emergency escape plans for various situations (e.g., going to court, workplace, home)
    • A list of emergency and resource numbers; and
    • A list of items to be stored in a safe place (e.g., ID, clothes)
  • Safety plans reflect the woman’s immediate personal circumstances, needs and choices. The plan will be comprehensive, concrete, include safety strategies and referrals to appropriate services

Services included

  • Comprehensive assessment; Development of safety strategies or plans for women and their dependents; Concurrent support group counselling for women and their children aged 4 – 18
  • Supports for women and their children aged 0 – 4 (within those TPRs that provide this service)
  • Partnerships with clinical professionals qualified to work with children
  • Referral and short-term follow-up support for children and their mothers

Services excluded

  • Crisis phone counselling
  • Counselling support provided as part of other services, such as counselling services, emergency shelter, and transitional and housing support program

Program/service features

Program goals

  • Increase the safety of mothers, caregivers and their children through the development of strategies so that their lives are not further endangered
  • Support child witnesses to tell their stories and to understand their rights, impact, safety planning and violence prevention strategies
  • Assist mothers and caregivers in supporting their children to heal from the effects of witnessing violence
  • Assist and advocate for women and their children regarding their health, safety and well-being

Ministry expectations

  • Programs will provide follow-up contact for up to three months to address safety issues and support needs
  • Programs will provide assistance in areas of childcare, transportation and cultural interpretation, as appropriate. Programs will seek to empower women in their roles as mothers and caregivers by means of counselling that is learner centred and strengths-based

Reporting requirements

The following service data will be reported on at an Interim and Final stage. Please refer to your final agreement for report-back due dates and targets.

Service Data NameDefinition

# of Women Served: Child Witness

Unique, or unduplicated, count of all individuals who identify as women who received Child Witness services in the reporting year. A woman is counted only once per reporting period. If the client carries into the next fiscal year, the client is counted again in the new reporting period.

Dependents are not counted in this data element.

Child Witness : Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver this program in the reporting year (cumulative).

# of Indigenous Women Served: Child Witness

Unique, or unduplicated, count of all individuals who identify as women and self-declared as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit descent who received Child Witness services in the reporting period. 

# of Indigenous Dependents Served: Child Witness

Unique, or unduplicated, count of all individuals (dependents) who received Child Witness services in the reporting period who identified or self-declared as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit descent.

# of Dependents Served: Child Witness

Unique, or unduplicated, count of dependents that received Child Witness services in the reporting year. Dependents are those of the abused woman receiving service. The dependent or child must be receiving services to be counted.

# of Referrals Elsewhere Due to Capacity or Placed on Waitlist: Child Witness

This data element includes requests for Child Witness services (including women and dependents) that were: Referred elsewhere because the service was at capacity (e.g., staff have full caseloads and cannot take new clients); or Placed on a waitlist. The same person may be counted more than once if they requested service at different points in the fiscal year.

Reporting is based on the initial response that takes place following the request for service. For example, if a person requests service and is placed on the waitlist and receives the service within the same reporting period, her request for service should still be reported once under this data element.

# of Referrals to a More Appropriate Service: Child Witness

This data element includes requests for Child Witness services (including women and dependents) that were referred elsewhere because they required a more appropriate service at the same agency or at another agency. This may include referral to a specific culturally responsive service, a service provided in another language, or any other service or provider that meets the individual’s needs (e.g., connecting with community resources). The same person may be counted more than once if they requested service at different points in the fiscal year. Reporting is based on the initial response that takes place following the request for service.