To begin using Fresh Start’s services, women are asked to attend an orientation class followed by a one-on-one meeting with an Empowerment Specialist (Master’s-Level Social Worker) to assess her needs and develop a service plan, specifically tailored to her own needs. When meeting with an Empowerment Specialist, a DV victim receives an initial assessment to ensure that she (and her children, when applicable) are safe. If the woman has just left her home or if she is planning to leave her abuser, an Empowerment Specialist first refers her to partnering agencies to find a safe place to stay before moving on with her plan at Fresh Start. After the immediate crisis of violence is over and the woman is safe, Fresh Start provides support and guidance to her through one-on-one case management, group workshops, support groups, access to print and web-based resources, legal support for divorce and child custody, education opportunities and career services job development programs. These services are offered to help victims of domestic violence become self sufficient and lead healthier lives and escape the cycle of domestic violence. As the woman progresses through her plan, she meets with her Empowerment Specialist periodically to ensure she is on the right path. In addition, her Empowerment Specialist is always available should she need help with additional stresses in her life or any other concerns she may have.
In 2012, 551 victims of domestic violence were served by Fresh Start and from January 1 to June 30, 2013, 303 have been served.
Fresh Start is partnering with the Arizona Women's Foundation's Live and Learn program (formerly a program of the Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation). This program is designed to help victims of domestic violence move on with their lives through education and job readiness programming. While the Halle Foundation provides individual guidance to each woman, Fresh Start provides the Social Work assessments, educational, job development, self esteem, and financial literacy coaching, classes and workshops. The Halle Foundation provides scholarships to the women in theirprogram to attend local colleges and trade schools once the woman has decided on her chosen field of study. This partnership provides the building blocks these women need to get past the abuse and the self sufficiency needed so as not to return to their abuser. There are currently 59 women in this program.
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