Domestic violence shelter programs provide both psychological and physical safety for families that are victims of domestic violence. The program follows certain processes that are tailored towards accessing and meeting the needs the victims as well as provide them with a wide range of benefits. The program’s steps entail initial contact, intake screening, and the introduction of program benefits, rules, regulations, and policies. Next is the provision of advocacy, crisis intervention services and services termination and follow-up. The benefits of the program include the provision of safe housing, basic needs, counseling services, and adequate management of the victim’s case (Baker et al., 2010).
Steps and processes
The program begins by making initial contact with persons who are in a domestic violence situation. Initial contact helps in gathering the person’s information to determine the best options, information and resources that they will be offered. Consequently, the victim will be able to decide the next step to take depending on whether their needs will be met by the program. After the person decides to join the shelter, the staff conducts an intake screening through the telephone to begin the intake process. The screening process assesses the needs of the victims to find out whether the services provided in the shelter are suitable. It also finds out the current safety level of the victim and determines if immediate help is required such as police intervention or medical attention. Next is the intake process that involves accepting the person into the shelter by obtaining the basic demographic information and doing an orientation to the program and its facilities. Before this, adequate time and space are provided to the victims recuperating from the crisis to ensuring they feel safe and healthy (Keeshin et al., 2015)
Victims are informed about the benefits they will access while in the shelter. They are also introduced to the program’s rules, regulations and policies. These are the responsibilities and the expected behaviors in the shelter that ensure a safe environment exists for everyone. The other process is crisis intervention and advocacy or providing counseling services to the victims. The shelter arranges that these services be provided either on an individual or group basis depending on the needs of the victims (Schumacher & Holt, 2012).
Eventually, there will be termination of the program services and follow-up of the victims. The termination may be because of completion of the program and transfer into a different program; expiry of time allocated for the victim. Others are, if the victim does not need the services anymore due to personal housing arrangements or if the agency requests a person to leave. During termination and follow-up, the program makes existing appointments with the clients. The steps here entail finalizing safety planning for victim’s departure, clearing with the agency, reviewing victim’s progress and achievements. Moreover, the program provides information on all services offered by the agency and other external resources, links, and referrals that victims may need after leaving the program. Finally, feedback is collected from the client by requesting them to evaluate the program services. This is the follow-up processes where methods such as phone calls and safety checks after a given period are done; clients may be requested to fill up a questionnaire (Baker et al., 2010).
Victims access a wide range of benefits such as a shelter that gives them a safe and nurturing environment for sleeping. Victims get natural support systems by reconnecting with others in the shelter. It ensures dignified access to basic needs such as food and clothing. The program reduces the victimization of displaced persons enabling them to regain control in their lives. It offers resources, information and referrals based on victims needs. Support victims’ families such as the children who join the program with the parent. It provides crisis intervention and advocacy services including counseling services that help victims overcome the issues of domestic violence and engage in the right relationships and behaviors (Baker et al., 2010).
In conclusion, domestic violence shelter programs assist victims through various processes. This is from the moment a person makes initial contact with the program while experiencing the problem to the point where services are terminated as well as follow-up. The benefits help victims to have a safe environment to live in comfort with all their basic needs provided. They also learn a lot about domestic violence and get a chance to rebuild their lives.
Baker, C. K., Billhardt, K. A., Warren, J., Rollins, C., & Glass, N. E. (2010). Domestic violence, housing instability, and homelessness: A review of housing policies and program practices for meeting the needs of survivors. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15(6), 430-439.
Keeshin, B. R., Oxman, A., Schindler, S., & Campbell, K. A. (2015). A Domestic Violence Shelter Parent Training Program for Mothers with Young Children. Journal of Family Violence, 30(4), 461-466.
Schumacher, J. A., & Holt, D. J. (2012). Domestic violence shelter residents’ substance abuse treatment needs and options. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17(3), 188-197.