The staff who make up our business hours Client Services Team work in a collaborative way, to ensure that both the practical and therapeutic needs of our clients are met simultaneously, from the moment they arrive at refuge.
Every client or family who enters Annie North is allocated both a dedicated case manager and a therapeutic practitioner from the outset, enabling close cooperation, sharing of knowledge, distribution of tasks, but also flexibility around who might work with adults and children at different times.
We have a thorough process of Intake, Arrival and Welcome, allowing people to settle into their new environment and take time to address the immediate needs of all family members. This collaborative and flexible approach then continues throughout the client’s stay, into the subsequent phases of intensive, holistic support and planning the next steps for safety and recovery.
Children are seen as clients in their own right and they are included in all processes, in keeping with their age and developmental stage. Children’s voices and experiences are elevated in their own assessments, support plans and goals and we recognise the deep healing and recovery that often needs to occur when children enter a space like a refuge.
This deliberately collaborative approach for our internal client support team is mirrored by a commitment to effective coordination with our many community partners. Case managers and therapeutic practitioners are able to work together with the external service system to provide an agile and responsive support which takes into account the complexity of victim/survivor’s experiences.
None of this could be achieved as well as it is without the strong and committed infrastructure and support provided by the administration, finance and operations staff along with our volunteers.
The After Hours team provide support to Annie North’s refuge clients if required and also deliver the Loddon Family Violence After Hours Program. This program provides immediate crisis responses to women and children in the form of risk management, safety planning, emergency accommodation and material aid. A large part of the After Hours role is also to provide emotional support during a time of crisis and we have a highly skilled, versatile and dedicated team who can provide assistance both over the phone or in person.
On Call Client Support Workers are an essential part of the Annie North After Hours team, and are available every night of the year, and throughout every weekend and public holiday. On Call workers provide exemplary support and advocacy to victim/survivors during a crisis, and can assist in person whenever and wherever they are needed. This on the ground support regularly occurs at local hospitals or Police stations. They also regularly transport clients, deliver material aid, and provide emotional support whilst settling clients into emergency accommodation.