News & Stories
Setting the benchmark for quality service

Setting the benchmark for quality service

Koru fern close up

Janeta and Fiona know first-hand the impact family harm has in our society. Their work as Victim Support Workers is not easy, but they are both dedicated to helping people live safer, happier lives.

Janeta, Service Coordinator

What have you learned about the complexities regarding family violence?

It’s not always straight-forward with family violence. Sometimes there are different layers. It’s easy for someone to say ‘get out’, but sometimes you need a whole lot of people to support someone to make the change. It won’t always happen the first, second, third or fourth time. We’re focusing more on social issues connected to family violence. We work together collaboratively to fill those gaps.

Tell us about some of the emotional and practical support?

The process depends on the incident. Each case is different. It could be a few phone calls or it might need to be face-to-face visits. We could visit them at the Police station or their home. Listening is important - normal forms of communication backed up with providing that emotional and practical support. Discussing protection orders, child orders and going through that process with them. At times, recommending lawyers, support with victim impact statements, attending court and sentencing. Other times it could be referrals onto other agencies for counselling. Parenting courses, it can be a number of different things.

Do you find your job rewarding?

Yes, very rewarding. There have been really good feel-good stories on people feeling empowered. Just the resilience and getting back into living. It’s always good to have those positive stories and positive feedback. It reiterates the work that you’re doing, you are doing some good. You need to have that every now and then. I’m most proud of the team’s passion for the work they do.

"I try and be that little bit of difference in their lives, that encourages them and helps them see that there is a little bit of sunshine somewhere."

Fiona, Whānau Support Worker

What’s the main purpose of your role?

Being a Whānau Support Worker means that I try and support families as best as possible to equip them with the skills so that they can make changes in their lives. To live safer, happier lives, to live a life without fear, without intimidation, and to create a family unit that works together in the same direction is my ultimate aim every time, with each family.

What is the impact of this support?

Empowering them with the skills so they can make the decisions and choices themselves. And when it works it works really well. I try and be that little bit of difference in their lives, that encourages them and helps them see that there is a little bit of sunshine somewhere. Sometimes that’s what people need, that somebody believes in them and encourages them and sometimes it’s not actually doing anything ground-breaking, it can be just encouraging them.

Can you give an example of some the support you offer?

Every client is different. We can have clients in quite dangerous situations. Sometimes they’ll come into the police station and we meet to discuss safety planning. We talk through the options they have, which can include, protection orders, a safety plan for at home if an ex partner turned up, some engagement for support for children, if children are involved. At times, it can include new locks on inside their doors for a safe room. We slowly go through everything. Just explaining every part of what they need to do to keep themselves safe.

Read more