The Women’s Support Program (WSP) provides a tailored and specialist family violence service that is responsive to the needs of women from migrant, refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.
On 19 April 2021, Wellsprings for Women became prescribed under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and The Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM). Wellsprings for women is one of very few agencies which support women who are experiencing family violence and remaining in the relationship. The support provided is offered for as long as the client needs it. The Women’s Support Program is funded by Family Safety Victoria and we are also pleased to receive funding from Paul Ramsay Foundation for two years (2023-2025) to fund a Housing Support Practitioner for women impacted by family violence needing housing assistance.
Women come to Wellsprings to access a range of programs and services. They gradually develop trust and rapport with Wellsprings staff, and as they feel safe, they disclose personal information about their circumstances which include among other factors, family violence. WSP is therefore embedded across all our programs. It is underpinned by human rights and informed by the following principles:
Following identification of family violence by a participant at Wellsprings, an internal referral is made to the WSP. The service model that ensues is illustrated as follows:
Engagement with a client who has either been (internally or externally) referred to WSP or disclosed directly to Wellsprings staff
Wellsprings Intake worker conducts a risk assessment using the MARAM risk assessment tool
A safety plan is developed that involves the woman looking at her unique situation and assesses what she might need to help her feel safe. It incorporates practical strategies for improving the woman’ s home and personal security and allows the woman to put steps in place to help keep her and her children safe.
Following intake and assessment, the client is allocated a case worker to provide ongoing support to her to resolve and address the multiple issues she faces and until such time as she is able to move forward independently.
Social and Emotional Support
The WSP provides emotional support to women experiencing family violence. This may involve: contacting victim-survivors to listen to regularly with respect, empathise without judgement, review safety measures, offer ongoing support and connections with other programs and services based on needs.
Information and Learning
The WSP works with women to raise their awareness about their rights, inform them of the options they have, the programs they can access to build their confidence, skills and capabilities, and to minimise the barriers they face which impact on their decisions to stay or leave. The Women Support Team (WST) informs the women of the range of programs offered at Wellsprings as well as elsewhere which can assist them to move forward and gain more control over their lives.
Support Process and External Referral
The WSP refers women to other services they require and continues to support them while they access other services. The services would include; legal, migration advice, mental health support, housing support, or family violence specialised services.
Practical and Material Aid Support
Following assessment of women’s needs and circumstances, the WST provides assistance with material aid, emergency relief and other practical supports such as assisting women with attending appointments , communicating with other services, and/or applying for government funded services.
Wellsprings Women’s Support Program is QIP Accredited to the Human Services Standards and the QIC Health and Community Services Standards 7th edition (10 August 2022-10 August 2025)