Rape & Domestic Violence Service Australia is a non-government and non-profit human service organization. R&DVSA currently employs qualified psychologist, social workers and counselling professionals Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia was originally established as Sydney Rape Crisis Centre with funding from the Whitlam government in 1974, and celebrated its 40th Anniversary on 28 October 2014. (Rape-dvservices.org.au, 2019). Domestic violence and sexual assault can bring significant negative influences on both mental health and physical harm to victims, and they can be the major factors affecting women’s health, lead to anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, sexual abuse can result in a long-term impact for children development and children’s mental health, children who have impacted by family violence or sexual assault can have a higher risk of anxiety, depression, learning difficulties, relation problems, and alcohol or drug misuse (Headtohealth.gov.au, 2019). The fields of practice of R&DVSA are domestic assistance, family violence, mental health, sexual abuse, and children protection.
Purpose, goals and objectives of the organization.
The vision of R&DVSA organization is to full stop the sexual assault and domestic violence. this organization offers special counselling for those groups of people who have been impacted by sexual abuse or domestic violence. they provide clinical consultation, monitoring and different types of trauma management to those people. They believe that individual or group education, training and information provision could result a better outcome which could reduce the rate of sexual abuse or domestic violence rate in Australian community by the organization work through with all the stakeholders. “The field of Human Services is a broadly defined one, uniquely approaching the objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations.” (Nationalhumanservices.org, 2019) Based on the definition from National Human Service, the purpose of human service is making a difference in people’s lives which means improve the quality of human’s lifestyles. Human service not only provide service directly but also, they could do coordination between the professionals and agencies to improve accessibility.
R&DVSA focus on and provide service for the groups who have impacted by sexual abuse or domestic violence. Based on the report from NEW SOUTH WALES RECORDED CRIME STATISTICS 2013, it shows indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences trended upwards 7.8%.(Goh and Holmes, 2013) Refer to Trend and patterns in domestic violence assaults: 2001 to 2010, it illustrates that most of the victims are female and more than half of the victims have not reported to police. Sexual assault could inhibit children’s development, the children who have an impact by sexual assault during their childhood could lead some difficulties in their social and interpersonal life such us serious depression, anxiety or conduct disorder. Hence, the target client groups for R&DVSA are those people who have an impact by those traumas currently and before.
Context and methods of practice utilized
R&DVSA is feminist, holistic and empowering in its approach which focuses on upholding the rights of all woman to have equitable life in society. Additionally, this organization is committed to protecting children away from violence and the right of all people free from violence in their lives. The fields of this organization include; domestic assistance, family violence, mental health and sexual abuse
The core service and main methods this organization will provide include both counselling and online access:
Firstly, the social worker in this organization will seek for the information from the people around the victims such as their family and friends that could assist in understanding the victim’s background information and what have they experienced. Then they will make a plan and list some strategies for helping. The most important thing is to encourage the victim’s supporters such as their family and friends to manage their emotions, bring the positive attitude to those victims.
Secondly, R&DVSA provide all types of counselling to those people whose lives have been impacted by the sexual assault which include telephone and online counselling, community based counselling service and face to face counselling.
Moreover, R&DVSA accepts online access, counsellors are free and available for one to one counselling for helping. In addition, online access can provide not only the contact detail for police and policy about sexual assault or domestic violence, but also the information about the work of R&DVSA.
The most important thing when work with domestic violence survivors is empowering to clients, rather than use power over them, this is because they have usually had experience of being dis-empowered by the abuse they experienced.
The nature of the organization’s auspice and funding arrangement
R&DVSA is supported by individuals, community groups, corporations and government agencies. The major funding bodies include: Australian Government Department of Social Service which focuses on providing funding and support for those who have impacted by sexual abuse and NSW HEALTH offers telephone and online counselling for rape crisis.
The limitations and strengths of the organization
The government provides uncertain funding for those human organization which inhibit the development of the organization. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis: “Many nonprofit organizations that provide human services to low- and moderate-income (LMI) clients are in a period of programmatic stasis due to uncertainty around government funding. Most of these organizations rely on a mix of federal, state, and local government grants for at least a portion of their income, but legislative budget wringing in response to the Great Recession has created unpredictability that is hampering their efforts to improve or expand their services.” (Wascalus, 2013), unpredictability could be a limitation for R&DVSA. In addition, another limitation could be the low reporting rate. Based on the data posted on the New.com.au, it shows violence against women in NSW is under-reported with only 44%, and it was under 33% in 2013 (Burke, 2019).
Most the women are afraid to report or they have no choice for their lives, thus, those human services could not help them anymore. Since 2009, R&DVSA has been a QIC Accredited Organization. QPI offers dedicated team support, they meet all the standards that could provide professional knowledge and self-assessment task (QIP – Quality Innovation Performance Limited, 2019). Hence, it could be the strengths of R&DVSA.
The role of social work
The definition of social work from AASW is “The social work profession facilitates social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.” (Aasw.asn.au, 2013)
In all situation, the social worker will focus on improving the well-being of humans and reduce the phenomenon of social discrimination, social inequality and social injustice.
The social worker as a counsellor in this organization will ask to provide a service that is client-centred, non-judgmental, feminist, supportive and responsive. The core service will include medium and long term on-going counselling for clients who ah experienced sexual abuse or domestic violence. This position will demand the highest level in trust of professionalism and ethical behavior. The major challenge for this position include hard to maintain the supportive relationship with clients and difficult to get positive outcomes, all the process should be patient and careful. The core purpose for social worker in R&DVSA is to improve the women and children life equality which helps them away from sexual assault and domestic violence, keep their both mental and physical safety and provide treatment for those victims who have already impacted by domestic violence and sexual abuse.
The workers’ own idea about the profession of social work
The significance of social worker to many of people may represent that work with the weak or poor and provide basic needs and support for them. However, the real meaning of social worker could be defined as assessing all the situations and find solutions with public welfare, counselling or something else. Becoming a social worker may not have a high level of wages or power. Nevertheless, social worker, could join into the social movement and be critical to this society. Also, they could be a part of social contributor, use their passion to change human’s life. Social workers can offer and advocate awareness of injustice based on their specialized knowledge and work with individuals, groups or families to provide positive changes for their lives.
The profession of social work stands at the nexus of immense opportunities and incredible challenges. The social worker becomes one of the fastest profession in current society. The most serious issue in current society is the gap between the population rise and economic inequality, hence, the demand for social service organization will rise (Holmes, Mintz and Coffey, 2018). However, most the human service organization still rely on the funding from the government, which means the level of those organizations development will depend on the government policies.
In my personal view, with the development of society, it will lead to s rising for inequality and social injustice, which will increase the demand for the social worker. According to the Department of Employment figures, the demand for social worker will rise by 22.5% by 2022. (Headtohealth.gov.au, 2019)
However, social worker as a profession will not get a high level of salaries and they will need to do more than others at the same time. In addition, those human service organization still rely on the funding from the government, which means it is still hard for them to develop independently. In addition, human service organizations should try to reduce their limitations such as the small influence of the organization and low reporting rate for domestic violence. However, social worker as a profession may face some barriers. According to McHaelen’ s idea, she stated the most significant challenge for social work is doing more work with fewer resources. The responsibilities for social worker continue growing, yet, the number of social work does not rise. In addition, based on the Wilcox’s idea, she illustrated that as a social worker is hard, because they interact with pains usually, and they need to keep people free and vibrant as their jot purpose, hence, they have few or no time to take care about themselves.
In conclusion, this report introduces the mission, core service and practice methods of human service organization R&DVSA and social work as a profession, also the report states some personal view about social work future and barriers may face for development.
- Headtohealth.gov.au. (2019). Supporting yourself – Domestic violence. [online] Available at: https://headtohealth.gov.au/supporting-yourself/domestic-violence [Accessed 10 Apr. 2019].
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- Goh, D. and Holmes, J. (2013). NEW SOUTH WALES RECORDED CRIME STATISTICS. [report] NSW Recorded Crime Statistics.
- Wascalus, J. (2013). Human service organizations ‘tread water’ in face of funding uncertainty | Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. [online] Minneapolisfed.org. Available at: https://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications/community-dividend/human-service-organizations-tread-water-in-face-of-funding-uncertainty [Accessed 9 Apr. 2019].
- Burke, L. (2019). Reporting rates of violent assault against women are worryingly low. [online] NewsComAu. Available at: https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/reporting-rates-of-violent-assault-against-women-are-worryingly-low/news-story/c156c37bdc8447c99645473a21939eb3 [Accessed 9 Apr. 2019].
- QIP – Quality Innovation Performance Limited. (2019). What is Accreditation? | QIP – Quality Innovation Performance Limited. [online] Available at: https://www.qip.com.au/what-is-accreditation/ [Accessed 9 Apr. 2019].
- Aasw.asn.au. (2013). What is Social work – AASW – Australian Association of Social Workers. [online] Available at: https://www.aasw.asn.au/information-for-the-community/what-is-social-work [Accessed 9 Apr. 2019].
- Holmes, J., Mintz, J. and Coffey, D. (2018). ENVISIONING THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL WORK. [online] Cswe.org. Available at: https://www.cswe.org/About-CSWE/Governance/Board-of-Directors/2018-19-Strategic-Planning-Process/CSWE-FTF-Four-Futures-for-Social-Work-FINAL-2.aspx [Accessed 9 Apr. 2019].
- Aasw.asn.au. (2017). Social workers are in demand – SMH – AASW – Australian Association of Social Workers. [online] Available at: https://www.aasw.asn.au/news-media/2017/social-workers-are-in-demand [Accessed 10 Apr. 2019].