My role in resettlement is varied and each day is different. The impact of domestic violence on individuals differ from one person to another. Getting to know clients who are leaving refuge and making a plan with them about moving onto their new life is both exciting and daunting for my clients.
Refuge life is safe and there are other people around who understand the circumstances of life. Moving on is exciting… to start a new life, make the next step towards independence is also daunting. Questions for some include, how do I set up bills? How do I set up a direct debit?
For others it will be, how do I make new friends? How do I meet people? How do I get from Tesco to my new house? Where do I find local amenities or groups? How do I help my children settle in another new place? How do I apply for new schools or find the nearest pre-school? How do I stay safe?
When clients have left refuge sometimes the excitement of a new home wears off quickly and the reality of being ‘on your own’ sinks in. I am there to support clients through this dip.
In most instances families who leave refuge have nothing to fill a new home. They often have to move on the same day that they find a new home which doesn’t give time to find furniture or white goods. A big part of my role is finding furniture and applying to charitable grants for individuals so that families are not without beds or a sofa for too long.
Setting up a new home is a great relief for my families. Finding that they can re-gain some sense of normality quickly takes a great weight off their shoulders, to know that they are not just left to do it all on their own once leaving refuge is really helpful.
My role as Resettlement Worker is to help provide and make a house a home, referring to other agencies, sourcing groups and activities, helping to sustain their tenancies, applying for grants and providing much needed emotional support which brings a hopeful end to a traumatic journey. It is a privilege to see the end to this journey for many women and children and the start of new life.
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