Women’s Health West has a brochure available about the family violence services we provide in some community languages including Arabic, Dinka, Hindi and Vietnamese. You can access both the print and digital versions of the the brochure here.
Our First Response team is the first point of contact for you when referring clients to Women’s Health West’s services. All of our referrals come through our First Response team, who are assisted by our senior receptionists.
Our First Response team operate on a triage model, based on risk, and aim to respond to enquires at our earliest convenience. Please note we are not a crisis response service. For 24/7 response, call Safe Steps (1800 015 188), or 000.
The First Response hours of operation are from 9:00am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday. The First Response After Hours team work from 4:30pm to 10:00pm Monday to Friday.
To contact our first response team, phone us on (03) 9689 9588, or email us on email@example.com.
Women’s Health West’s case managers work with women and children who are either experiencing an immediate family violence crisis, or whose safety is at risk as a result of family violence.
Case managers undertake comprehensive risk assessments to identify the level of risk and work with women to develop case plans, safety strategies, and to coordinate access to brokerage, advocacy, housing, legal, health, counselling and other assistance, to support immediate and long term safety.
Women’s Health West offers a variety of case management approaches depending on the needs of the client. For example, we offer:
Outreach case management support
Outreach case managers work with women who are experiencing family violence who are planning to leave the relationship, or who have left the relationship. Outreach case managers work with women for up to three months. Services offered include ongoing risk assessment and safety planning, case coordination, practical and emotional support, advocacy and referrals, and secondary consultation.
Specialist case management support
Intensive case managers provide family violence support to women and their children who are experiencing a high level of risk, have complex needs, or who require intensive support to become safe. In addition, there is also an intensive case manager to support clients with a disability.
A CALD case manager provides intensive housing support for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Download the brochure for more information.
To make a referral to any of the case management services, please email fvassist (at) whwest.org.au.
Women’s Health West’s children’s and youth counselling program provides child/youth focused, trauma-informed counselling and therapeutic group work to assist children and young people to make sense of, and recover from, experiences of family violence.
Counselling is available for children aged 0 – 17 years and 11 months, who reside in the western region of Melbourne and have experienced family violence.
Support is available as single sessions, or as short, medium, or long term counselling. Women’s Health West also offers therapeutic group work.
SPLASh groups (safe place for laughter, arts and sharing) are creative arts therapy groups for children aged 12-17 in Wyndham. SPLASh groups run twice a year, in a different location across the west each time.
Children’s and youth counsellors are out-posted to locations across Melbourne’s western region. Counselling is offered in Footscray, Melton, Hoppers Crossing and Wyndham Vale.
To refer a client to our counselling program, download a referral form (pdf) and email it to counselling (at) whwest.org.au.
Women’s Health West’s client and residency management (CARM) team focuses on providing safe refuge for women and children who are at risk of harm.
All women accessing services through our CARM team are assigned a case manager, and children are allocated a children’s case manager.
The team work with women experiencing family violence by providing the support they require, depending on their level of safety and risk. This includes referring them to a high security refuge or crisis accommodation property. The CARM team can also link women accessing their service to counselling, court support and whatever they might need to support them to move to medium or long term accommodation.
The cultural needs of women accessing our accommodation services are also taken into account, with a CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) case manager and two Aboriginal case managers available. Read more about CALD support in our brochure here, and an overview of our services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
Case managers will work alongside women to identify exit points from crisis accommodation. Case managers will liaise with local housing suppliers, cooperative housing services, and the Office of Housing, and can advocate on behalf of women to these services.
To find out more about crisis accommodation options, contact our intake team on (03) 9689 9588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Referrals for crisis accommodation are received via Safe Steps. If you are working with a client and wish to refer them to crisis accommodation, please contact Safe Steps on 1800 015 188, to discuss whether a refuge is suitable for their circumstances.
Other housing and residency support programs
Women’s Health West runs a variety of programs to support women and their children with their housing and residency needs.
A Place to Call Home works to eliminate the need for women and their children to relocate from transitional housing properties by reallocating them into long-term public housing properties. Women’s Health West’s A Place To Call Home case manager works with women and their children in these properties to link them in to the local community through financial and case management support.
Safe at Home is a program that provides practical and financial assistance to improve the immediate and longer term safety of client’s homes, to allow them to remain safely in their own home. Flexible Support Package (FSP) funding can also be used to improve the safety of client’s homes – read more about FSP funds here.
To find out more about any of our housing and accommodation services please phone (03) 9689 9588 or email email@example.com.
The Court Support program at Women’s Health West is part of our Family Violence First Response team. The program provides information and support for people involved in intervention order related matters at the Sunshine, Werribee and Melbourne Magistrate’s Courts. Our Senior Case Manager can provide information on how to navigate the court process, undertake risk and safety assessments, as well as make referrals to other programs at Women’s Health West. We can also provide information and support about how to apply for an intervention order.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all in person hearings at Magistrate’s Courts across Victoria, will now be listed for hearing online, or by other remote means. This means that people will not go to court and everyone will join in by video (phone, laptop, tablet etc.) As a result, the Court Support program is currently not available onsite at the Sunshine, Melbourne and Werribee Magistrate’s Court. Information and support is currently available via phone, email, SMS or onsite at the Women’s Health West office.
If you would like to refer yourself, or someone you are working with, for court support, please contact us on one of the following methods:
Phone: (03) 9689 9588
SMS ONLY: 0437 377 140
Note that our Court Support operating hours
vary across Monday–Friday, 8:30AM–6PM.
After hours support
Women’s Health West also provides family violence crisis support after hours, we take referrals for this service through Safe Steps, who can be contacted on 1800 015 188.
Women’s Health West also receives family violence referrals from police (called L17s). This means that when police attend to a call related to family violence, they send a referral to us so we can provide a response. These police referrals also let us know if you require support to attend court.