Statewide Service

State-wide Specialist Trauma Counselling Service for Women Exiting Prison

In July 2016 CASA Forum applied for funding from the Department of Justice to roll out the state-wide specialist trauma counselling response for women exiting prison. WestCASA hold the coordination of the pilot project which is a natural fit with the extension of the current Dame Phyllis Frost Centre Specialist Trauma Service.

Women are often imprisoned because of the direct and indirect effects of family violence, child sexual abuse and other experiences of trauma. Women in these situations are often at risk of violence when they leave prison. They require support both while they are in prison and on their release, to assist them to overcome the effects of trauma and avoid re-offending.

The Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault have broadened their counselling responses to provide both specialist trauma counselling to women exiting prison and group work to support them in their healing journeys. WestCASA is responsible for providing the central intake point for referrals from Community Corrections.

As a part of the project WestCASA will also deliver the equivalent of 26 full days of training for Community Corrections to support them to understand the impact of trauma in women’s lives.

This is an opportunity to detail the needs of women exiting prison and to ascertain the service model that will maximise opportunities for these women to receive a service, which for many is in the face of extreme instability and homelessness.

For further information about this pilot project call WestCASA on Ph: 9687 8637.