What is case management?
Femili PNG’s Case Management Centre (CMC) in Lae provides integrated case management services for survivors of family and sexual violence.
But what is case management? It depends on the client, and on their needs.
Case management can include:
- Referrals: if a client needs medical attention, they will be referred to a local medical provider. If they need access to safe accommodation, a Case Worker can help to arrange this. If they need legal advice, or to seek a protection order from the police, they will be supported through the process.
- Case conferences: CMC can bring together a range of stakeholders in Lae to hold a case conference to ensure the best outcomes for clients with challenging or complex cases.
- Relocation: For some clients who want to leave a situation of violence, relocation or family reunification is the best option. More details below.
- Advocacy for clients: if a client has not been able to achieve the outcome that they were hoping for through the justice system or from police, Case Workers can advocate on their behalf for a better outcome.
Other support we provide for clients can include:
- Emergency support: Even when in a shelter, clients and their children often have no means of subsistence. Many leave their homes to seek help with just the clothes on their backs. We often help clients meet their food and other basic needs while they are accommodated in safe houses.
- Transport: We provide clients with secure transport to help them move from the safe house, to the police, to court or to seek medical care.
- Statements: We help clients make statements to obtain an Interim Protection Order from the police.
One practical solution for some women looking to leave situations of repeated violence or abuse is to move to another part of the country, away from harm to start a new life in safety.
Some women want to return to the area where they grew up, or move to live with relatives in other parts of the country. This is also the solution for some children who have lost contact with their families.
The CMC case workers assist with family tracing and provide practical assistance to help clients relocate safely. They connect them with local domestic violence, counselling or other services so they continue to be supported while settling in. With the support of our partner Oxfam PNG, some relocated clients are provided with start-up support, so that they can have the opportunity to learn a skill and earn an income. This ensures that they aren’t a financial burden on the family members who are taking them in, and empowers survivors to provide for themselves and for their children.
Beyond case management
While case management is the focus of our work, we are also dedicated to improving the services and facilities available for survivors by working closely with local stakeholders and partners such as the police, courts, safe houses, Family Support Centre, welfare and others to improve coordination and boost their capacity to deliver services.
Some of the ways we have contributed include providing funding for a local safe house to improve its security fencing and facilities, and supporting a local policewoman to attend driving lessons so that she can move around more easily to issue interim protection orders for domestic violence cases.
Beyond Lae, we also work in partnership with organisations such as the Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee to advocate for better services and support for survivors nationally.