What is the Outreach Program?
The Outreach Program commenced in 2009 and works closely with a number of other services in Alice Springs to provide a strong support network to women experiencing domestic violence.
The Outreach team provides free support to any woman in Alice Springs who has experienced, or continues to experience, domestic violence. The service also travels in Central Australia to remote communities Yeundumu, Papunya, Ti Tree and Hermannsburg.
The Program is a flexible service that is catered to the particular needs of each individual client. Workers provide general advocacy and practical support to women to ensure they receive the full benefits of the services available to them.
The Outreach Program takes on an early intervention approach, working proactively with women and children to ensure their safety is not threatened, and to reduce their need to access emergency accommodation services.
We work closely with women towards establishing their own safety plans and risk assessment to ensure that they feel safe while remaining in their own community. Often in circumstances of domestic violence, women are forced to leave their home and community in order to stay safe. Perpetrators of violence are often able to remain in their homes, and are often bailed out to their home address even when the house might be jointly leased with the victim, or be the victims family home.
The Outreach team hope to reduce this rate of homelessness caused by domestic violence and focus on ensuring women are able to remain in their own homes and communities without fear of further violence.
A primary focus of the Outreach program is to support women and children to be proactive about their own safety. We assist women to not only monitor their short term safety but also to address long term safety concerns.
The Outreach program has been funded by the Alice Springs Transformation Plan.
Who do we support?
Workers usually provide support to women and children who:
- have exited the emergency accommodation program and require some ongoing follow-up case management;
- are currently living in a unsafe situation, but do not wish to access the emergency accommodation service.
The Outreach team will support women to maximize their own safety by developing a safety plan, and providing practical and emotional support. When required, workers will support women and children to exit their situation as safely as possible.
- are high-risk, transient or are sleeping rough.
This group of women often access emergency accommodation with concerns not only for their own safety but also other issues including alcohol use, financial problems and mental health concerns. Workers monitor the woman’s safety and wellbeing by regularly visiting where they may be staying. A simple signalling system is in place to communicate whether the woman wishes to see them.
How we can help?
The Outreach workers can meet with women who are at risk of experiencing, or are experiencing domestic violence, and talk with them about ways in which they can maximize their own safety and that of their children.
The Outreach workers are able to provide a wide range of supportive measures depending on each individual situation.
These may include:
- Safety planning
- Providing information about domestic violence and what services are available to them
- Referring women onto other services or assisting women to access other services themselves
- Assisting women to in exploring safety measures including obtaining a domestic violence orders
- Support with relocation
- Emotional support
- Simple practical support such assisting in getting locks changed and assisting in getting to medical appointments
- Early intervention activities such as child safety programs and participating in the Love Bites program in partnership with NAAPCAN.
We can assist women through a whole range of issues from simply having a chat over a cup of tea, through to supporting women during major life changes.
Women living in community and experiencing domestic violence often request regular visits from our Outreach workers. As women’s safety concerns can change very quickly, these visits enable Outreach workers to touch base with clients and assess their safety on an ongoing basis.
At different stages of difficult relationships, the type and intensity of support a woman may require may change. The service can have daily contact with women who are at significant risk or less intensive support depending on a woman’s individual situation.
Through the safety-planning model, these visits also enable women to re-assess their own safety and re-evaluate their short and long term options. Each woman is encouraged to act independently and to determine her own goals in which to work towards.
When and where?
The Outreach team has a discrete office in the centre of Alice Springs where women are welcome to drop in at any time between 9am to 5pm weekdays. Alternatively, if you are unable to visit our Outreach office, workers are able to arrange with you a convenient time to visit you, as long as you live in Alice Springs.
Does it cost anything?
No, the Outreach program is free to any women or children experiencing domestic violence.
How do I access this service?
If you would like more information please contact the Outreach Program on (08) 8953 7648.