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Pathway to a Safe Home

Pathway to a Safe Home



Sonas Strategic Plan 2012-2014

Sonas Strategic Plan 2012-2014



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    Pathway to a Safe Home Pathway to a Safe Home Document Transcript

    • Sonas Housing Strategic Plan 2012 - 2014Pathway to a Safe Home
    • Sonas Housing Association wouldlike to thank all of oursupporters for helping us in our work.
    • Table of ContentsChairperson’s foreword 2Introduction to Sonas 3Context to strategy 4Sonas strategy overview 2012-2014 7Priority 1: Quality accommodation provision 8Priority 2: Services provision and development 9Priority 3: Advocating for change 10Priority 4: Supporting organisational framework 11Implementation and monitoring 12
    • Chairperson’s forewordWelcome to Pathway to a In the term of our last strategic plan, Sonas as an organisation has faced many challenges - an ongoing recession, changes in housingSafe Home, Sonas Housing and homelessness policy and funding cuts. Sonas has ensured thatAssociation’s Strategic Plan the issue of domestic and gender-based violence remains on thefor 2012-2014. This plan agenda in this rapidly changing environment and that high quality services for women and children affected by domestic violencebuilds on our work of almost continue to be available.twenty years in providingsupport and accommodation We have ensured that services for survivors of domestic violence are embedded in the new pathway model of homeless services provisionto women and children and we are delighted to be recognised as a leading provider ofmade homeless as a result domestic violence housing support services in Ireland in the 2010of domestic violence. reconfiguration of homeless services. I have many people to thank – our funders who recognise the need for our services and continue to support the delivery of our services; our donors and those who fundraise on our behalf who contribute so much to us and help women and children directly. I would like to also thank the staff and the board of Sonas, all of whom work tirelessly to ensure that the needs of women and children are met. We are very grateful to all of those who have supported us in any way and we hope you continue to do so in the term of our next strategic plan.Rachel MullenChairperson of Sonas Domestic violence is still a significant problem in Irish society affecting one in five women. In the last three years, Sonas has seen an incremental rise in the demand for our services. In the next three years we aim to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of women and children affected by domestic violence in high quality housing projects. In addition, we will continue to advocate for change on the issue of domestic violence and to work towards an Ireland where violence against women and children is no longer tolerated. Central to all of this is good organisational development and a focus on quality standards: the foundation behind our delivery of quality front-line services. This plan outlines our strategy to ensure there is a pathway to a safe home for women and children who are currently stuck in very dangerous domestic situations. We look forward to many more years of providing support, housing and refuge to those in vulnerable situations who need our help.2 Sonas Housing Strategic Plan 2012 - 2014
    • Introduction to SonasSonas Housing Association was established in 1992 as a specialist social Women and their childrenhousing organisation which provides accommodation and/or support often become homelessto women and their children who are homeless primarily because ofdomestic violence. as a result of domestic violence. Over 25% of theSonas understands domestic violence as a violation of human rightsundermining the right of women and children to live free of cruel, women who presentedinhuman and degrading treatment. Sonas recognises domestic to the Irish Homelessviolence as a gender-based crime and an expression of the unequal Persons Unit had becomeposition of women in society. homeless as a result ofSonas currently has a stock of almost 100 supported housing units domestic violenceacross a number of different areas in Dublin as well as Viva House crisis (Safe Home Report, Sonas Housingrefuge, which opened in the Fingal area in 2010. Association, 2004)Achievements in the last strategic plan periodSonas has achieved a lot over the lifetime of its last Strategic Plan 2008-2010 and into 2011. Among the keyachievements of this period are: » The provision of high quality services and amenities for women and children. Between 2008 and 2011 we delivered support, housing and refuge to approximately 500 women and 500 children: • Supporting almost 200 women and 220 children in supported housing • Supporting almost 300 women and 270 children (as at end of 2011) in Viva House crisis service since June 2010 » The completion and opening of Viva House, a 24-hour refuge in Dublin 15 » The opening of 30 new units of accommodation and the provision of a housing support service in Stepaside and Belmayne » Winner of two ICSH Awards in 2011 for Best Homeless Project for Viva House and Best Collaboration Initiative for Belmayne » The successful implementation of a quality standards framework for housing support and refuge services - incorporating regular service user feedback and a service user database system » Being listed as a leading provider of domestic violence housing support services in the 2010 reconfiguration of homeless services » Increasing the profile of Sonas’ work through increased policy, interagency and media work » Co-ordinated and published a feasibility study showing there is a need for a refuge facility in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. Pathway to a Safe Home 3
    • Context to Pathwayto a Safe Home - National NationalSonas Strategic Plan Funders Policy-makers2012-2014 Domestic Sonas Homeless Violence Sector Housing SectorSonas is operating in a rapidly changing Associationenvironment. See Figure 1 for a schematic Support Organisations Social Housing Organisationsrepresentation of the location of Sonas in Referral Organisationsthe context of funders, policy-makers and Dublin Regionalthe domestic violence and homeless sectors Refuges Homeless Executive Local Authoritiesrespectively. The changes we encountered duringthe lifetime of the last Sonas strategic plan 2008-2010 had and will continue to have a stronginfluence on the future direction and development Figure 1: A schematic representationof Sonas. Key among these developments is the of the location of Sonas in the domesticsignificant changes in national homelessness and violence and homeless sectorsdomestic violence policy and the ongoing impactof a deep recession.The housing first approachUp until relatively recently the focus of Sonas was on the provision of supported transitional accommodationto women and children made homeless primarily as a result of domestic violence.The launch of The Way Home, A Strategy to Address Adult Homelessness in Ireland, (2008 to 2013) in 2008 markeda significant move away from the use of emergency hostels and transitional accommodation options and amove towards a ‘housing first’ policy with the provision of more long-term housing with appropriate visitingsupports where necessary. The implementation of this new policy saw Sonas engage in a detailed review andreconfiguration of its services away from the provision of transitional accommodation and towards the provisionof more permanent housing accompanied by the development of visiting support services.Sonas was identified in the Homeless Agency’s 2010 Pathway to Home report as one of a small number of namedorganisations providing supported accommodation. Sonas has also been identified as a provider of specialistvisiting housing support for individuals who have experienced domestic violence. Sonas is now actively engagedin the development of these services and is looking forward to their effective rollout.4 Sonas Housing Strategic Plan 2012 - 2014
    • National domestic violence policyThe National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (2010-2014) was published in early2010 by Cosc. Significantly, the first national HSE Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence wasalso published in 2010 designed to dovetail into the national strategy. The aim of the national strategy is thatby the end of 2014 all incidences of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in Ireland will be understoodand recognised and will be unacceptable to society. The strategy also aims to ensure that by 2014 there will beincreased safety for victims together with an improved level of service provision and increased accountabilityof perpetrators. Sonas is identified within this strategy as a domestic violence support service in the north-eastregion. The HSE has conducted an audit of domestic violence services and supports available around the countrythat has yet to be published.New approaches to family support servicedeliveryThe provision of support for women is clearly linked to the pressing child protection agenda and the HSE’s FamilySupport Network approach. A number of different family support initiatives and models are currently beingpiloted. These include the differential response model, the early prevention initiative, the development of morelocalised models of family support and the application and use of common assessment frameworks. If theseapproaches prove useful it is likely that they will be rolled out on a wider basis, with clear roles and responsibilitiesassigned to various voluntary and statutory services.The impact of the recessionThe current economic recession coupled with stringent austerity measures has seen both significant falls inincome levels and severe cuts in public spending. These are both likely to continue in the short to medium termand have had a serious impact on key areas of interest to Sonas.Rising levels of demand for homeless and domestic violence servicesRising levels of unemployment and falling income levels are leading to an increase in the number of peopleexperiencing homelessness. Certain aspects of the recession (for example redundancy, falling incomes) canescalate domestic violence, with women out of home because of domestic violence increasingly strugglingto find safe accommodation and the supports they need to regain control over their lives.Significant cuts in funding for services and supportsThere has been a significant reduction in funding for a range of services. Domestic violence services have notescaped these cuts and funding for the sector has fallen by approximately 12% since 2008. Cuts in funding levelsalso mean that it is very unlikely that any additional capital funding for the housing/homeless sector will beavailable in the short to medium-term. Pathway to a Safe Home 5
    • Thanks to Sonas, I learned it wasn’t my fault and I learned how to live on my own again and survive. Maura Name has been changed to protect identity6 Sonas Housing Strategic Plan 2012 - 2014
    • Sonas strategy overview 2012-2014Our key practice Sonas Missionprinciples are to:» Maximise the safety of women and children To provide high quality housing, support and refuge services to» Empower women to move from crisis to safety and independence through the provision of quality women and children affected by services domestic violence, empowering» Advocate for the rights of women and children them to regain control over all at an individual, institutional and policy level aspects of their lives.» Provide a woman- and child-centred approach that recognises the diverse needs and experiences of service users» Apply an evidence-based and outcome-focused approach to our work.Sonas strategic aims Sonas Vision2012-2014 To be a key service provider in» To provide good quality, safe accommodation for women and children out of home because of domestic violence accommodation domestic violence support services and a leading» To provide a range of accessible, high quality services voice influencing policy and and supports to empower and equip women and public debate on housing and their children who have experienced domestic homelessness issues related to violence with the skills to live independent lives domestic violence.» To be a leading voice and a positive influence informing policy and public debate on housing and homelessness issues related to domestic violence» To put in place the necessary organisational framework required to facilitate effective services delivery and development. Pathway to a Safe Home 7
    • Priority 1Quality accommodation provision Our Aim To provide good quality, safe, accommodation for women and children out of home because of domestic violence Why Our Objectives Access to safe housing is a 1.1 To implement good housing management repair and maintenance service, as well as planned maintenance basic human right programmes (for the Sonas housing stock and Viva House) with the aid of regular house condition surveys. 1.2 To ensure high levels of occupancy and low levels of voids, to facilitate accommodation of more women and children who may need Sonas services. 1.3 To expand the housing portfolio, where opportunities arise and resources are available, to meet identified needs, and if appropriate, to collaborate with others to acquire additional accommodation. Indicators 1.4 To implement and monitor high quality accommodation • Number of women and children standards. provided with quality safe accommodation (annually) • Percentage of units provided by Sonas that meet predefined quality standards (annually) • Minimum 80% tenant satisfaction levels.8 Sonas Housing Strategic Plan 2012 - 2014
    • Priority 2Services provision and developmentOur AimTo provide a range ofaccessible, high qualityservices and supports toempower and equip womenand their children whohave experienced domesticviolence with the skills to liveindependent livesWhy Our ObjectivesWomen and children who are 2.1 Provision of both on-site housing support as well as flexible specialist visiting housing supports using the keyvictims of domestic abuse working and care and case management approaches.have been isolated anddisempowered. The provision 2.2 Provision of high quality refuge and outreach servicesof specialist support services using the key working and care and case management approaches.can assist them to gain self-confidence and to take control 2.3 Provision of specific domestic violence programmes (ieof their lives Freedom Programme) and evaluation of same. 2.4 Provision of specialist children’s services and supports.Indicators 2.5 Development of models of service and quality standards• Number of women and children and evaluative framework for domestic violence services, supported by Sonas based on analysis of outcomes, evidence and service user feedback.• High percentage of women supported by Sonas achieving their (support plan) goals• Minimum 80% satisfaction levels with supports received from Sonas Pathway to a Safe Home 9
    • Priority 3Advocating for change Our Aim To be a leading voice and a positive influence informing policy and public debate on housing and homelessness issues related to domestic violence Why Our Objectives To ensure that legislation and 3.1 To influence key policy and legislative processes through networking, collaboration and policy submissions policy processes are better informed and strengthened to 3.2 To increase awareness of the needs of women and more effectively tackle the key children who have to leave home due to domestic issues affecting women and violence. children who are affected by 3.3 To increase awareness of Sonas and the work it does to domestic violence address the needs of women and children affected by domestic violence. 3.4 To ensure that the experiences and outcomes for women and children accessing services from Sonas are Indicators effectively monitored, recorded and communicated when appropriate. • Number of policy related submissions and briefings prepared 1) by Sonas and 2) by Sonas in collaboration with others • Number of media articles and features published/broadcast and their related circulation • Percentage of the policy related fora Sonas participates in that contribute to positive changes for women and children experiencing domestic violence.10 Sonas Housing Strategic Plan 2012 - 2014
    • Priority 4Supporting organisational frameworkOur AimTo put in place the necessaryorganisational framework(structures, procedures,resources and policies)required to facilitate effectiveservices delivery anddevelopmentWhy Our ObjectivesSonas needs sufficient internal 4.1 To value and develop the Sonas people through continuous professional development and applicationcapacity to enable it meet its of best practice human resource policies.mission and sustain itself in thelonger term 4.2 Effective financial management and control. 4.3 To maximise funding opportunities. 4.4 To support effective internal communication. 4.5 To further develop efficient systems for administration, IT and file management which will effectively supportIndicators the operations of Sonas.• Percentage of Service Level Agreements successfully completed• Meet all statutory reporting requirements• Number of Sonas people trained annually. Pathway to a Safe Home 11
    • Implementation and monitoringResponsibility for overseeing Progress in relation to the implementation of the plan will be assessed using the series of performance indicators. There are at least threethe implementation of the headline performance indicators for each strategic priority. Withinstrategic plan rests with the each of these headline performance indicators will be action-specificSonas Board of Management. indicators. These indicators will be used to develop individual staff work plans. The Sonas Board will review overall plan implementation and progress twice a year. Depending on progress and the emergence of new issues, the plan may be amended and updated.About this planPathway to a Safe Home, the Sonas strategic plan2012-2014, was developed by the Sonas Board ofManagement with support from the CEO. GrainneHealy and Kathy Walsh were commissioned to co-ordinate the plan development process. The planwas agreed and finalised by the Board in late 2011.The development of the plan involved: » Research into the wider national context » Consultations with almost one third of all Sonas service users (across a number of locations) » A workshop with Sonas staff, the senior management team and the Sonas Board of Management » Interviews with a number of key agencies involved in different aspects of funding, policy-making, homelessness, housing and domestic violence policy and service provision.12 Sonas Housing Strategic Plan 2012 - 2014
    • I came to Sonas two years ago - broken, battered, with no life. In two years I have received the help and support I need. I have a life now. Eileen Name has been changed to protect identity Pathway to a Safe Home 13
    • www.DesignPrintworks.ie Sonas Housing Association Ltd 14 Bachelors Walk, Dublin 1 Telephone: +353 1 8720068 Facsimile: +353 1 6865005Email : info@sonashousing.ie Website: www.sonashousing.ie Registered Charity: CHY 10872 Registered Company Limited by Guarantee Company No: 195618