QCDFVR was commissioned to evaluate the early implementation of the Women’s Health and Wellbeing Support Services (WHWSS) during 2019-2020. Existing services are funded to deliver WHWSS to support women’s longer-term recovery from gender-based violence which was identified as a gap in service delivery by the Queensland Government’s Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence (the Taskforce, 2015).
The evaluation findings across 10 sites demonstrated the high need and value of WHWSS services. While providers developed a range of place-based service delivery models, there were many common elements of good practice to support women’s longer-term recovery. It is important to consider how these practices work together as a system of support and provide mutually reinforcing benefits for women. The findings regarding WHWSS service design and delivery highlighted the following enablers of this ‘support system’ for women:
Service approaches/philosophy: client-led, trauma-informed, empowerment approaches, practice informed by a DFV lens
Service types: multi-dimensional with mix of case management, therapeutic counselling, group programs, workshops/information sessions and social connection activities
Service structures: open, multiple entry points on journey from crisis to recovery, flexible, free, tailored to client needs, availability of long-term counselling to heal trauma
Integration into local service system: referral networks that enable access into WHWSS and referrals to other services women need including DFV crisis services; collaborative partnerships to broaden types of services offered to women
Place based: responsive to local needs and context
Culturally responsive: engaging with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities and providers.