Statistics have shown that every year, domestic violence is responsible for an estimate 1200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2003). Last year, in England and Wales, there were over 1 million female victims of domestic abuse. Domestic violence can be understood as any incident of threatening behaviour, or abuse which could be psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality (Shipway, 2004).
The aim of this welfare project is to provide adequate levels of support to girls between the ages of 13 and 15 who have experienced incidents of domestic violence. Specifically, we propose a residential home that provides a support system, ongoing care and counselling for victims of domestic violence. The residential home will be named “Make a Difference” residential home and will be able to house twelve girls in four separate groups. Each group will then be allocated a qualified youth worker who will help them through their counselling, their group work and any problems and difficult circumstances they face. There will also be a daily schedule of activities that girls have the option to attend such as cooking, sport and film evenings that will take place every evening from 6.00-7.30 pm. These activities will provide a chance for the girls to socialise and also feel connected with the outside world.
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There are going to be three co-ordinators responsible for the Make a Difference home. Tanya will hold the position of manager and treasurer, Angela will be the senior youth worker and training officer and I will act as co-ordinator and chief fundraising officer in order to raise funds and awareness for the residential home to remain a secure home for victims of domestic violence. Over six months, each of us will meet for three days in a week from 9 am to 5 pm to discuss our roles and give each other support and feedback.
My role extends to a number of tasks that begins with the creation of an action plan and detailed proposal of the aims and objectives of Make a Difference home. This will be followed up by a discussion with Tanya on the budget to ensure that adequate funds are raised to support Make a Difference home. Finally my role will involve liaising and co-ordinating with external bodies such as the NHS and Community Safety Partnerships to raise awareness about domestic violence. The role will also involve carrying out administrative tasks such as registering Make a Difference home with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that will be the first task to complete.
According to the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009 Act, all health and social service providers must be registered and placed into the CQC database. CQC is the chief regulator of quality in health and social care in the UK (RCN 2010) and carries out themed inspection programmes of home care services to ensure that all services meet certain standards and that service users are treated with dignity and respect. Registration involves applying for a CRB Check, obtaining and providing references, completing the application form and the statement of purpose. These tasks will fall under my responsibility in the first two weeks. The CQC also stipulates that a condition of registration is nomination of a manager. In this case, Tanya will be proposed as the manager of Make A Difference Home.
Following the submission of an application to CQC, I will be focused on writing a detailed action plan and proposal that will be distributed amongst local services, charities and external bodies. This action plan considers the main aims of this welfare project as:
To provide adequate levels of support where violence occurs
Work in collaboration to obtain the best outcome for victims and their relatives
Raise awareness and take action to reduce the risk to girls who are victims of domestic violence
This action plan will require input and editing by both Tanya and Angela as they will each need to bring their expertise and knowledge. This will be completed by the end of the first month.
With the action plan and proposal put together, my next task in the second month will be to draw up a fundraising plan for Make A Difference home. This is a task that will require input and considerable help from Tanya as treasurer, as well as consultations with other registered care homes across the country in order to acquire knowledge on how to conduct the most effective and efficient fundraising. It was decided that fundraising would take place in a number of locations and via a number of mediums such as the creation of a page on “Just Giving”, a Facebook page and a YouTube video on tackling domestic violence. These fundraising initiatives would take place in conjunction with street collections as well as a special fundraising initiative on the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25th).
After drawing up a list of fundraising initiatives, my role in the third month also involves requesting a meeting with the county council in order to pitch the idea of Make a Difference home and receive its approval and support. This meeting is particularly critical to the success of Make a Difference as the financial support of a council and a government is extremely valuable. I will therefore need considerable input from both Tanya and Angela in practising our pitch before the meeting. This meeting will be one of the greatest challenges of my role due to its strong leadership leadership element and the fact that all aims and expectations of our project must be effectively communicated the council board.
Assuming the meeting with the county council goes well, my next task by the end of the third month will be to approach the Home Office. In 2012, the Home Office revealed that it has committed to providing an additional 400,000 pounds a year for three years to improve the services to support young people under 18 suffering sexual violence and exploitation. As the funding is open to all, my task would be to send in the aforementioned action plan and proposal and request funding for Make a Difference Home (Home Office, 2012).
The next critical step will be approaching and aiming to work in partnership with local charities, voluntary and community organisations, the NHS, Community Safety Partnerships and families and communities. This will require two months of work. For example, Women’s Aid, a national charity which has a network of over 900 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK will be the first port of call. I will also set up a meeting with the managers behind the “White Ribbon Campaign” which is a global campaign that ensures that men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women. A collaboration with these local services and charities would also represent an effective means of recruiting volunteers and health care workers to perform various roles in Make a Difference home.
There are a number of resources that will be needed to carry out each of these tasks. For example, I will need access to a database of charities and initiatives working towards alleviating the stresses caused by domestic violence. I hope to gain this access following registration with the CQC and permission by the Council. I will also need to print a detailed proposal and flyers that can be distributed across other charities. This will require a number of trips to a printing service.
Following the completion of these tasks over six-months, there will be a three month review period for Make a Difference home to monitor progress and ensure our aims are being met.
There is no doubt that there are a number of challenges associated with setting up a residential home for victims of domestic violence. Slow processing of applications, need for adequate funds, difficulties in setting up meetings and time constraints may all play a role at some point during our project. It is for this reason that a supportive and committed team is absolutely essential. It is important that in our team, our roles are not set, but can interchange so that we are constantly supporting each other.
In conclusion, I am confident that the Make a Difference home holds great potential in alleviating the pain that victims of domestic violence suffer and I have high hopes for its success in the future.
Home Office (2012) Crime: Young people’s advocate on sexual violence and exploitation. Working Paper.
National Center for Injury Prevention and control, 2003. Costs of intimate partner violence against women in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA (2003).
Royal College of Nursing (RCN), 2010. Consultation on Care Quality Commission Reviews 2009/10. [Viewed on 24th April 2012]. Available from http://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/290216/CQC_Strategy_2010_2015.pdf
Shipway, L. 2004. Domestic Violence: A Handbook for Health Professionals,
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