Family Violence Initiative

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:

Zhaawanong Shelter

Organization:

At^lohsa Native Family Healing Centre Inc.

Location:

Southwold, Ontario

Target Group:

Women (age 16 years and older) and their children.

Contact Name:

Shanda Kennedy, Program Coordinator

Phone:

N/A

Email:

admin@atlohsa.com

Website:

www.atlohsa.com

Program Overview
History:

The shelter program began in 1992 and is still ongoing.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To provide community-based emergency shelter and crisis support services for women and their children who have experienced abuse; to provide crisis phone counselling, including assistance with safety planning, providing information on rights, options and available services; and to support the development of a personal safety plan for women and their children, who have experienced domestic abuse, in order to confirm their immediate safety and help them avoid further abuse.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

Cultural support services are also offered in the form of pipe ceremonies, sweat lodge ceremonies, language workshops, sunrise ceremonies, community feasts, water ceremonies, naming ceremonies. All of these cultural ceremonies are designed to encourage the clients to find the motivation to make their lives better.

Components of program:

The program assists women by providing emergency shelter services for themselves and their children. These services tailor an individual safety plan designed to meet that client's own individual needs. The program also offers crisis support services (including phone counselling), rights information, skills and parenting development workshops, and referrals to appropriate services.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

The shelter has a discharge evaluation and clients provide feedback.

Partners:

Namerind; Nokeekway; Western Student Association; Western First Nations Student Centre; Fanshawe College First Nations Student Centre; Domestic Court Advisory Committee for the City of London and Middlesex; Infants and High Risk Environment Committee; Children who Witness Violence Program Advisory Board; City of London Police Consultants Committee; Centre for Research to End Violence Against Women Board; Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre Board; National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence; Southwest Ontario Shelter Association; No More Silence Network; Community Advocates for Ontario Works and Ontario Disability; City of London Homeless Coalition; and the Coalition against Human Trafficking.

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

The results were that service and financial data information is reported as prescribed by the Ministry with quarterly submissions and year end reconciliations; and clear policies and procedures are in place including record keeping protocols.

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the feedback that clients and the community give.

Achievements:

The growth of the organization has been an amazing accomplishment; as have the successes of clients becoming independent and living violence free lives.

Challenges:

There is a need for more addiction treatment facilities. It is challenging working with the mandated priorities of Child Welfare Services.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. Involve the local women in the programming planning. Community involvement is necessary for the program to be a success.

Resources:

Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.

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