AN AFTERCARE PROGRAM FOR FEMALE SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE: A GRANT PROPOSAL Dianne Adiezatu Obakhume California State University, Long Beach School of Social Work May 2013 Introduction Domestic violence (DV), also referred to as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner (U.S. Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women [OVW], 2012). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC; 2006), domestic abuse is a serious and preventable health problem that affects millions of Americans, particularly women, and has become a growing epidemic in the United States. Approximately 7 million women in the United States alone are abused yearly by someone they personally know, such as a spouse, partner, or ex-partner (CDC, 2011). About 1 in 4 women (24. 3%) in the United States have been affected, and are victims of severe physical violence perpetrated by an intimate partner. Prevalence and Risk Factors It is difficult to establish precise numbers of women who experience domestic abuse due to underreporting, but it is estimated that about one in every three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused (Crawford, Liebling-Kalifani, & Hill, 2009; WHO, 2011). Risk factors which can contribute to the incidence of domestic abuse include witnessing parental violence, harmful use of alcohol and drugs, and a history of sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence (WHO, 2011). Other factors such as poverty, lack of education, and low socioeconomic status have also been considered to be major contributors to domestic abuse (WHO, 2011). There are certain limitations in the services that domestic abuse victims receive after they exit the shelter environment; such as access to counseling services and case management (Bennett, Riger, Schewe, Howard, & Wasco, 2004). According to Cole, Logan, & Shannon (2008), higher levels of social support are associated with a lower likelihood of re-victimization, and a social support system seems to predict a better outcome in terms of establishing healthier relationships. In order to address some of these issues and to promote self-sufficiency, CareLinks was developed to provide aftercare services to women who are exiting from a shelter. Multi Cultural and Social Work Relevance Domestic violence impacts women of all ethnic backgrounds and social economic status, therefore, social workers need to be culturally competent about domestic abuse and its effects on their clients (Kanno & Newhill, 2009). Domestic abuse directly impacts the field of social work because many of the client population have been or are being affected by domestic abuse, and social workers as advocates need to be aware of its impact on families, children, and the society at large. Studies have shown that incidences of domestic abuse are higher amongst the poor and uneducated, and also amongst women of color (Hill, Mossakowski, & Angel, 2007), and this population constitutes the bulk of social work clients (Agazie, 2011). Social workers believe in social change, and one way of accomplishing change is to work together with clients in eliminating this form of oppression. Methods Target Population The target population identified for this proposed program are abused women living in the city of San Diego who have recently completed a domestic violence shelter program, and are exiting out of a shelter into independent living. Strategies Used to Identify a Funding Source The California State University Long Beach library database was utilized in conducting this search. Research was also conducted using resources at the Foundation Center to locate potential funders. Additionally, a search was conducted on the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) website, which provides federal grants for programs supporting victims of domestic violence. And the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership in order to access their database collection that provides a list of funders and grants based on grant needs. Identify Funding Source Selected The Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault Programs was selected as the funding source for the program (www.ovw.usdoj.gov). This federal grant is offered by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The OVW's four priority areas include: 1) preventing violence against women; 2) addressing sexual assault; 3) extending programs to underserved communities; and 4) restoring and protecting the economic security of victims of violence. Methods Sources Used for the Needs Assessment Data will be collected from the CDC's National Intimate Partner Violence Survey (CDC, 2011) to examine reports of challenges that domestic abuse victims’ face regarding history of victimization, and what interventions were successful for them. Focus groups will also be conducted with survivors who have transitioned successfully, to validate the necessity of this aftercare program. Projected Budget Range and Categories The budget for this program has been calculated to be $158,679. This budget is based upon the cost of staffing, direct and indirect costs which will operate for the one-year funding period. The staffing will consist of a part-time program director, a full-time coordinator, and two part-time master of social work interns. Program Director: The position requires a part-time bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of this program, including administration, staff supervision, and the successful operation of this program. Program Coordinator: This is a full-time position to be held by a master's degree level social worker (MSW) who will be responsible for providing individual counseling and facilitating the support groups. Social Work interns: These two positions are to be held by two master's degree level social work interns (MSW). These are per diem positions at 20 hours per week to provide case management, assist clients with using resources, and networking with other agencies to raise awareness of the program. Grant Proposal Program Summary and Population Served The CareLinks program will be a 12-week program that will run for a 12-month period. This program will provide case management for housing and job assistance, individual counseling, and facilitate support groups for abused women 18 years of age and older who are exiting from a domestic violence shelter. The goal of CareLinks is to empower 100 abused women over the course of one year by assisting them in gaining economic self-sufficiency, and promoting independent skills. This 12-week program aims to equip women with knowledge and skills that would enable them to reject abusive relationships, and to avoid re-victimization. Sustainability For the purpose of this project, the CareLinks program will be fully funded by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), and it will be hosted by the YWCA of San Diego County. The OVW offers federal grants to innovative programs addressing domestic violence against women. The YWCA is a nonprofit organization that provides services to victims of domestic abuse that includes safe housing, counseling, legal assistance, employment support, financial literacy training, and supportive children’s programs to over 5,700 individuals annually in San Diego County. Grant Proposal Program Objectives The overall goal of this program is to provide an effective follow-up service that focuses on enabling female victims of domestic abuse leave the cycle of violence by gaining independence in order to avoid the reoccurrence of abuse in their lives. To provide case management for housing and job assistance in order to increase economic self-sufficiency. To provide individual counseling in order to reduce the psychological effects associated with victimization of domestic abuse. Finally, to offer emotional support by facilitating personal empowerment support groups. Program Evaluation This program will be evaluated for effectiveness by using a pretest and posttest assessment. A pretest survey will be administered during the initial assessment of admission into CareLinks. Upon completion of the 12 week session, a posttest survey will be administered again with the same questions. At the conclusion of CareLinks, the overarching expectation is that after receiving counseling, case management, and participating in the support groups, 85% of the women will see an increase in their self-esteem, a decrease in their depression, obtain employment and secure housing, and learn how to engage in safe and healthy relationships. Follow-up phone calls will also be made 6 months and 1 year after the end of the program to participants who have successfully completed the program. The caller will evaluate the efficacy of this program by observing the outcomes whether they have more stable lives through the help of the aftercare program. Lessons Learned/Implications for Social Work Lessons Learned Grant Writing Identification of Need Selection of Potential Funding Source Implications for Social Work This process of writing this grant demonstrates the need for social workers to be knowledgeable about funding and the grant writing process, as many social workers are employed in non-profit agencies, and often require funding from different sources. The knowledge acquired through the process of this grant writing is a vital tool in working with, and seeking services for diverse populations, including for women and domestic abuse survivors. Studies have shown that incidences of domestic abuse are higher amongst the poor and uneducated, and also amongst women of color, and these populations constitute the bulk of social work clients (Agazie, 2011; Hill et al., 2007). Therefore, it is imperative that social workers be attentive and culturally competent about the effects of domestic abuse in the lives of their clients. References Agazie, M. (2011). Cultural Considerations Impacting Domestic Violence Among African American Women: Implications for Social Work. Conflict Resolution & Negotiation, 1, 138-141. Bennett, L., Riger, S., Schewe, P., Howard, A., & Wasco, S. (2004). Effectiveness of hotline, advocacy, counseling, and shelter services for victims of domestic violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19 (7), 815-829. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). Measuring Intimate Partner Violence Victimization and Perpetration: A Compendium of Assessment Tools. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/domesticviolence/. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cole, J., Logan, T., & Shannon, L. (2008). Women’s risk for revictimization by a new abusive partner: For what should we be looking? 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