Organization Name: Family Violence Project

Program Name: Promoting Safety for Victims of Domestic Abuse

Program Contact: Pamela Morin, Interim Director
Email: pmorin@familyviolenceproject.org     Phone: (207) 620-9050

UWMM has funded this program for 40 years.

Amount Requested: $20000
Is this an increase from what your program received for the current funding cycle? 
Yes

Received: $14000 Requesting increase because:We had requested $20.000 in the prior funding cycle but only received $14,000

Twenty-five word summary of this program’s purpose:

Increase safety of domestic violence victims by providing individual and court advocacy, support group,safety planning and working collaboratively with key community partners.

How your program is uniquely important to the community:

Family Violence Project (FVP) is the only domestic violence resource center serving Somerset and Kennebec counties. Our outreach advocates work with individuals to develop safety plans, help them through court processes such as getting protection from abuse orders and connecting them with local resources. Meeting with an advocate breaks the silence and isolation of abuse. The outreach office can serve as a conduit for a victim to become a survivor. When we can assist victims/survivors to remain safely in their own homes and communities, outcomes for everyone in the family are better. A basic tenet of advocacy is that survivors of abuse have the right to self-determination, to control their own lives and can be best helped with support, information and encouragement. It is a unique and highly specialized role in the spectrum of community care. There is no more basic need and right than to be safe in one’s own home. Another critical service offered is support groups; groups provide a facilitated forum where victims/survivors find connection with others by sharing stories and gaining an understanding that they are not alone. Advocates help victim/survivors to access other programs to meet basic needs; and offering topics in financial literacy, healthy parenting, and other skills in support groups. All services are accessed through our helpline and with direct access to advocacy in our Waterville and Skowhegan offices. The outreach advocate offers court advocacy to assure that Protection from Abuse offer the greatest possible protection under the law, that the local district court has FVP information readily available to disseminate to those seeking orders, and to help expand on a victim’s safety plan if a perpetrator does not comply with the terms of an active PFA. Safety is the bottom line for all our services and one call begins to break isolation. Over time survivors begin to build a bridge to safety and self-sufficiency. Advocates understand that sometimes our connections with individual survivors endure for years; other times, the interaction is brief and specific to meet an immediate need.

Program Updates

Since last report (or in past two years):

 

 

The outreach advocate does a complicated and multi-dimensional job responding to the needs of victims.  No day is ever the same.  We have highly talented problem solvers who produce a great amount of work for upper Kennebec & Somerset Counties. They work collaboratively with many local agencies in the area.  Our Coordinated Community Response model is a benefit to so many facets of the network.  A task force meets once-a-month to review cases and to educate each other on their programs, when appropriate advocates participate.  Outreach advocates have increased the number of 48-hour follow up visits, alongside our Domestic Violence Investigator, to increase the ability of victims to have their story heard and to learn of the resources in their community. Our advocates monitor accountability court and assist the Assistant District Attorney, probation officers and Batterers’ Intervention Project facilitators, to re-educate convicted abusers and help them change their lives. The advocates have become proficient in working with victims/survivors in completing the Campbell Danger Assessment, they attended a review training this past year. The assessment assists in developing comprehensive safety plans. Outreach advocates have also continued to coordinate services through our Pine Tree Legal partnership with the Justice for Families project, a federally funded grant program of the Office on Violence Against Women, administered through Pine Tree Legal. The advocates have been able to have Protection Order Court in Waterville and Skowhegan typically covered by an outreach advocate and at least one (1) Pine Tree Legal attorney, which means that they can work individually with, and offer services directly to many more victims. We have also begun to use a different data base system in coordination with Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. The data-based will be used by all the Domestic Violence Resources Centers in Maine.  At this point the ability to collect and analyze the results is showing to be successful and much more comprehensive, which then informs our practices in addressing the needs of victims/survivors.

 

Expected in the coming year:

 

The outreach advocates continue to be stretched to the limit with the demand for their services. They will continue to collaborate with Pine Tree legal partnership with Justice for Families Project federally funded grant program of the office on Violence Against women, administer by Pine tree legal. The grant cycle ends in September 2019. Pine Tree legal has applied for another and will hear the results in August 2019. A new award would continue the ability to work closely with a Pine Tree lawyer, and it also includes funding for supervised custody visits. This would be an asset to the victims/survivors as they navigate the child custody issues and domestic abuse safety concerns. The end of the grant without a renewed award would increase the support outreach advocates will need to provide during court proceeding.

 

Another change, this coming year, is that we will support both outreach offices and advocates in the Somerset and Northern Kennebec Counties. The scope of the work stays the same, however, reporting numbers may look different.

 

One more difference is that our new database is strengthening our data collection and program reports.

 

Outcome your program most contributes to:
Health: All individuals in Mid-Maine are in safe and healthy environments with access to health supports and services.

How program contributes:
Provides a direct service in behavioral and/or physical health areas

Define your year: October 1- September 30

How much did we do? 500 (Total number served)

How well did we do it?

Performance measure: Percent of clients satisfied/very satisfied with service received
Most recent year’s data: 100%
Previous year’s data: 100%

What was the difference made?

Performance measure: Percent of clients whose basic needs are met
Most recent year’s data: 100%
Previous year’s data: 100%

Action Plan

Objectives for current year:

  1. Outreach Advocate will work closely with other advocates in the organization and with her direct supervisor to ensure delivery of consistent and high quality services.
  2. Community-based volunteers who complete our 40-hour comprehensive training program will co-facilitate support group,attend court proceedings and provide childcare services whenever possible.
  3. We will partner with Pine Tree Legal Association(PTL) through a federal Office on Violence Against Women Justice for Families grant program, allowing us to refer some of the more complex and dangerous civil cases to an attorney who works for PTL. This resource leverages a limited community resources ( free legal assistance) in service to those who most need it.
  4. Advocate will continue to refer victims whose perpetrators present a high risk for lethality to the high-risk response team, composed of partners from law enforcement, probation, prosecution, batterer intervention, advocacy and others as organizations with information to increase likelihood of victim safety and perpetrator accountability.
  5. Advocate will receive referrals from and work closely with a broad range of community providers most over the phone or in advocacy office; when possible and is the safest option. Meetings may take place at medical providers, therapists, court or other off-site locations. This service delivery method, when it is able to happen, provides advocacy services for victims in the environments that are safest and most accessible for the victim.

Objectives and results from last year:Success Stories

Kay (not her real name) started working with FVP when she was assaulted by a friend she was living with while she was drinking with him. Because she fought back and he lied to police, she was arrested but then subsequently referred to Family Violence Project when it became clear she was a victim. She entered our Somerset House program and successfully got into recovery. Upon relocating into her own place, and working her steps, attending AA faithfully, she met (was targeted by) a man who initially appeared to be a clean cut, polite person who was sharing the road to sobriety with her. One night he snuck into her 3rd floor apt by way of the fire escape, scary and confusing to her, but still she was so convinced by his charming and calm demeanor most of the time, she continued the relationship. A few months later he assaulted her brutally, strangling her and attempting to smother her with a pillow, beating her savagely; he then pulled out his pistol and pointed it in her face. She managed to get away early the next morning, miraculously alive. She called the police that day, with the help of a friend. She called the FVP advocate she had worked with in Waterville filed a protection from abuse order to keep him away. He was arrested and is still in the legal process, attempting to escape any legal repercussions by continuing to hire new attorneys and keeping the case “in the air.” Meanwhile, he continues to walk free. She had a few mysterious break-ins at her apt, she called the local police and for now things have been quiet. She is struggling with some chronic pain issues, likely the result of many years of trauma, but she continues to attend the weekly support group. She is still a young, attractive woman and was asked out on a date recently. She shared with the group that “I saw the red flags though! I have never been able to see those before!” and she told the man that she wasn’t ready for dating. She plans to continue to work with the support group, is working with a specialist to find treatments for the ongoing chronic pain and planning on finding an individual trauma therapist. Although she does continue to struggle, she is well on her road to healing, recovery and peace. She has been grateful for the ongoing resources and support of the Family Violence Project and plans to continue her work with us.

Previous Year Actual Income and Expenditures

Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
115567 14000 0 0 1000 130567

Total Actual Expenditures: $130567

Current Year Budgeted Income and Expenditures

Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
113725 20000 0 0 1000 134725

Total Budgeted Expenditures: $134725

Anything remarkable about your program’s budget:

We are requesting $20,000 in funding from United Way of Mid-Maine as matching funds for our grant from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which provides 50% of our annual budget.  This UWMM grant will help fund work at our Waterville and Skowhegan offices so that we can offer support, guidance with getting protection orders, safety planning and work with community partners to improve the response to domestic violence.  Without this critical funding, we would be forced to close one of our offices.

 
What else you’d like reviewers to know:

We received a grant from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services which provides 50% of our total funding.

 

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