By Maureen Wishkoski, WCA Court Advocate Manager
As you know, providing effective services is just one part of the puzzle in a client-centered approach. Another vital piece is where these services are provided. Location can make the difference between a great idea in theory and a great idea in reality. This is especially true for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Local agencies, the courts, law enforcement and medical service providers all offer assistance for individuals experiencing abuse. From the outside looking in, however, these services can seem overwhelming, exhausting or confusing, and difficult to access. With this lens, the recent developments at FACES Family Justice Center are especially exciting.
In the month of February, FACES gained new ‘residents,’ meaning that more services are available in one location for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Previously, FACES offered clients access to Safety Planning and referral services through a WCA Victim Advocate, forensic exams for both adults and children, non-forensic medical exams for adults, civil legal services, Victim Witness services from the Boise City Attorney’s Office, and domestic violence education. A team of Health and Welfare assessment workers have also been housed at FACES. As of this newsletter, FACES now also houses the Boise Police Department’s Special Victims Unit and Victim Witness Unit, along with a deputy prosecutor from the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.
FACES’s capacity is further enhanced by the addition of a second WCA Victim Advocate. Former WCA Client Advocate (in the Residential Operation setting) Natalie Monroe joins Kendall Spencer (featured in the September, 2013 Newsletter) in providing safety planning and court advocacy in Ada County civil court. Offering crisis intervention tailored to the needs of each person, their work is strengthened by the flourishing, client-centered environment evolving at FACES.
Finding the help you need can be a challenge for anyone. And when you encounter a serious or traumatic situation, you want to find the right resources right away. Effective services in an accessible location are two key pillars in supporting clients as they move to safety, healing and freedom.
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