Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services
Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services Co-operative Ltd provides a broad range of client-centred services to women and children who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic and family violence.
As a leading provider of support services for women and children in the region, Warrina receives referrals from the NSW Police, Housing and Health departments, mainstream service providers, other non-government agencies, community groups and past clients, as well as self-referrals.
The organisation employs a group of highly skilled and dedicated staff, who have developed strong partnerships with other service providers and community members. Formal referral mechanisms have been developed to enable our teams to work co-operatively with each other, as well as in collaboration with other service providers, to provide a flexible integrated service response.
Warrina has a commitment to supporting clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. To facilitate this, identified Aboriginal and CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) positions are maintained within the teams, and services tailored to the needs of different cultural groups.
Specialist Homelessness Services
The Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) is funded by Community Services NSW to provide services across the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, and Nambucca Local Government Areas.
Staff use a case-management model, providing individual counselling, advocacy, referrals, and group-work; and work with clients to improve safety, to access and maintain long-term accommodation, and to address other, often complex, needs.
The therapeutic relationship established between caseworker and client is respectful of the client’s need to be in control of decisions that affect their lives, and the supports they may require. Clients are seen as expert in their own lives, with staff working alongside them to develop their case plan.
Women and Children’s Refuge
The Women and Children’s Refuge, situated in a building supplied by Housing NSW, provides safe and secure crisis accommodation for single women and women with children who are escaping domestic and family violence.
The Rainbow Room is a dedicated space at the Refuge where the Child and Family team work with children, both alone and alongside their mothers. Staff support the children to make sense of their experiences of domestic and family violence, and to enhance the mother-child relationship. The team are trained in age-appropriate play and therapeutic intervention techniques, which take into account the children’s cultural background and particular family circumstances.
The Domestic and Family Violence Housing Support caseworker position was created in 2014 to provide specialist outreach support to clients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, as well as case-management of the Transitional Housing clients.
Counselling and case-management is delivered to geographically isolated communities by appointment. Additionally, follow-up support is available to clients exiting the accommodation services, allowing complex issues to be addressed as they arise, and promoting long-term positive outcomes for clients.
An identified Aboriginal caseworker position is maintained at the Refuge, with regular scheduled Goori Outreach services also provided in Bowraville and Nambucca.
An identified Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) caseworker position is maintained at the Refuge, with the worker also providing individual and group CALD Outreach services in Coffs Harbour and Nambucca.
Women’s Resource and Information Centre
The Women’s Resource and Information Centre (WRIC) provides a central service hub in Coffs Harbour, with a counsellor, group programs, outreach services, North Coast WDVCAS and WaTCHIT all based at one site, allowing seamless wrap-around service delivery.
The philosophy underpinning the WRIC promotes women’s access and participation in their communities, increases opportunities, and broadens support networks. Women are supported to address identified needs through individual counselling and case-management, as well as a range of group programs.
Housing NSW supplies three 3-bedroom properties in Coffs Harbour through the Transitional Housing program. These properties are available for women with children, for up to 18 months, while long-term accommodation options are sought.
In May-July 2014 an additional seven 3-bedroom properties were secured through the Housing NSW Transitional Housing Plus program. These properties are medium-term, providing low-cost accommodation for clients as they seek to enter or re-enter the work force.
North Coast Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service
Legal Aid NSW funds the North Coast WDVCAS to provide assistance to women who are experiencing domestic and family violence and are considering legal intervention to ensure their on-going safety and protection. The service operates in Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Macksville and Kemspey local courts, and has offices located in Coffs Harbour and Kempsey, with Grafton staff working from Clarence River Women’s Refuge.
Staff attend the courts on Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) “list” days to provide clients with information, advocacy, support, and referrals. Where resources allow, support is also provided at ADVO hearings or domestic violence-related charge matters.
WDVCAS staff work closely with the Police Domestic Violence Liaison Officer, the Police Prosecutor, and other legal professionals to ensure that ADVO conditions are appropriate to the client’s needs.
As the WDVCAS funding does not allow for case-management, staff from the service work in close collaboration with the SHS team and other service providers in the region to ensure that clients receive the required on-going support.
Warrina staff regularly participate in forums, committees and inter-agency meetings in order to promote the services of the organisation, increase accessibility for clients, and ensure that each service is responsive to community needs.
The organisation is actively engaged in community activities for White Ribbon Day, Reclaim The Night, Homeless Persons Week, NAIDOC Week, Mental Health Week, and other celebrations and commemorations.
Staff of all services participate in information sessions for students and community organisations, increasing community knowledge and understanding of the effects of domestic and family violence.