COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES
Family Violence Interventions
- Program name:
Ikwe Widdjiitiwin Inc.
Ikwe Widdjiitiwin Inc.
- Target Group:
Everyone (with a focus on women).
- Contact Name:
Marie Lands, Executive Director
The program began in 1986 initially as an informal drop-in center, and has evolved into a crisis center with a housing and education program.
- Goals & Objectives:
To address the needs of all women and their children who are abused - sexually, physically or emotionally - and to develop programs to meet these needs in order to empower the women to make decisions affecting their own lives.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Ikwe uses several traditional ways of healing in its service delivery and has access to community facilities such as Thunderbird House. Elders are brought in to provide teachings on the Aboriginal culture. Many of the staff and counsellors are traditional and practice a traditional way of life.
- Components of program:
Ikwe Widdjiitiwin is a crisis shelter that provides safe accommodation, supportive counselling and advocacy to abused Aboriginal women and their children. The program provides an education component which helps clients identify the risk factors, the impact that these factors have on family, understanding the cycle of violence and how to break the cycle of violence. The program is immediate and continuous and ends when the client makes the decision not to continue, or with a referral to other agencies that provide a longer term service. There is a residential shelter program, a crisis line, a children's program, interim housing program and a follow-up program.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
Funding is provided by the Province of Manitoba; Child and Family Services; the Family Violence Prevention program; and the United Way.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Ikwe has an in house program where the women involved make their own decisions concerning the services they receive. At the end of the service, the client is given the opportunity to provide feedback on the service or on any segment of the program; this is done through an exit evaluation.
Wahbung Abinoonjiiag (Children of Tomorrow).
- Other relationships:
Other organizations (unspecified).
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
The recommendations from the evaluation suggest that enhancements can be made by continuing to make the programs more client centered; it also encouraged a return to the community based service model that was in place at the beginning of the program, and to move away from the institutional type program that it has evolved into. It suggested that more open communication may be beneficial.
- Measures of Success:
The measure of success is obtained from the exit evaluations that are provided by clients when they leave the program; the clients are able to comment on any portion of the services as well as the program itself. In addition, there is an in-house process of receiving complaints and recommendations from current clients and their families.
Successfully providing services to women and their families for the past 25 years and during this time of increased demand, was able to incorporate new components into the project.
The more difficult challenges have been providing support for the children who become victims of abusive situations. Other challenges include the 30 day limitation on the service that can be provided to a client and her family.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. It is recommended that any agency that is considering the service contact Ikwe. The organization should incorporate an ongoing on-site consultation process with all staff.
Sufficient funding, trained and knowledgeable staff and adequate facility space are needed to ensure the program's success.
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