Ruah Community Services Ruah Community Services
 

Ruah Women's Support Service

What is Women's Support Service (WSS)?

Ruah Women's Support Service (WSS) offers the following programs to support women pre and post release from prison.

  • Young Women's Program (YWP);
  • Transitional Accommodation & Support Service (TASS); and
  • Re-entry Link Program (REE).
  • Lifeskills Group
  • Moorditj Yorgas Yarning Group (Aboriginal Lifeskills Group).
  • Housing Support programme (HSP)
  • Grief, loss and trauma counselling
Participation in all of the programs is voluntary and free of charge.


Young Women's Program

Ruah Young Women's Program is an intensive pre and post release support program for women under 30 years of age who are prison, or have been in the last twelve months. The program is funded by the WA Department of Health to increase positive health outcomes for young women at risk.

What does the service offer?

The service offers intensive psychosocial support, through counselling, support, information, advocacy and referrals to assist young women to better deal with:

Life issues;

Health issues;

Abuse and trauma;

Domestic violence;

Relationships;

Problematic drug and alcohol use.

The service also offers practical support to assist young women to attend vital appointments such as parole, medical, income support and other needs identified by the women.

Who does the Young Women's Program work with?

Young women under 30 years, currently incarcerated in Bandyup, Boronia or Rangeview, either on remand or sentenced, are eligible for the program. Young women who have previously participated in the program, but are residing in the community may also re-apply for support.

How to access the Young Women's Program?

Women under 30 years may self-refer to the program by completing a form at the prison asking to see a Ruah worker. Referrals are also sometimes made by prison officers or prison counselling staff.

Community referrals can also be taken from other agencies working with young women who are involved in the criminal justice system.

Transitional Accommodation & Support Service (TASS)

The Transitional Accommodation & Support Service (TASS) is funded by The Department of Corrective Services to provide intensive supported accommodation to women for a six month period following release from prison. Nine houses/units are allocated at any given time by the Department of Housing and Works in the metropolitan area for women meeting the eligibility criteria for TASS.

Who does TASS work with?

The Transitional Accommodation & Support Service is for women who have no other available housing options and require support to minimise their chances of returning to prison and maintain a positive tenancy. Women need to be sentenced and have no pending court actions to be eligible for TASS. In addition, women also need to have 3-4 months left to complete their sentence when they nominate for the program. Nominations will not be accepted by the Department of Corrective Services if the Earliest Date of Release is more than four months or less than two months.

Initial assessments for eligibility are carried out by the Department of Corrective Services TASS Coordinator and reviews criminal history and behavior when incarcerated. Once Ruah Women's Support Service receives a referral from the Department of Corrective Services, a thorough assessment is conducted within the prison by Ruah workers, to ensure women are prepared to commit to the program, as places are strictly limited. The program requires a commitment by women to engage weekly in the planned support and address issues which have led to their imprisonment and to their housing situation.

What does the service offer?

Referrals are generally received by Ruah Women's Support Service approximately one month before the applicant is due to be released from prison. A property is made available before women are released to Ruah workers, who assess the suitability of the property, furnish the property with basic furniture, a refrigerator (if required) and household goods. The refrigerator is hired by Ruah Women's Support Service to the TASS client for a nominal fee and remains the property of Ruah at the end of the program.

TASS clients sign a tenancy agreement with the Department of Housing & Works and are expected to abide by tenancy requirements. The tenancy is only for six months and clients are expected to vacate the property at the end of the program. Ruah workers support clients to access alternative accommodation before the lease expires. The service offers intensive practical support to assist women to better deal with:

Daily living activities;

Maintaining a successful tenancy;

Parenting;

Offending behaviour;

Abuse and trauma;

Domestic violence, relationships and family issues;

Problematic drug and alcohol use;

Court support;

Education and training needs.

Women accessing this program are required to meet with the workers at least once a week, or more often if issues arise.

How to access the TASS Program?

Nomination Forms are available through prison officers at the two women's prisons and in Rangeview Juvenile Detention Centre. The form needs to be completed and given to a prison officer, who will fax it to the TASS Coordinator at the Department of Corrective Service.

Re-Entry Link Program (REE)

The REE Program consists of five services, all of which are available to women in Bandyup and Boronia Prisons Remand Support, Re-entry Link Program (pre-release), Re-entry Link Program (post-release), Pre-release LifeSkills Groups, Assistance to return clients to regional community.

Who does REE work with?

Women on remand may access the remand support for short-term intervention only. However, only sentenced prisoners are eligible for the other Re-entry Link support services. The Re-entry Link support Program is funded to work with women only for three months pre-release and six months post-release. Women who are released to freedom, without having to report for parole, have priority for Re-Entry Link support.

What does REE offer?

Remand Support links in with women held on remand at Bandyup Women's Prison. Ruah Women’s Support Service workers provide information and short term support .Women are assisted to access essential services, such as family support, legal service etc., to ensure children are being cared for, and arrangements for housing or pets are made.

How to Access the Ruah Re-entry Link Program

Referrals are made within each prison through prison staff or Peer Support. Women can also self-refer by completing a white form about three to four months prior to their release. A Ruah Women's Support Service worker will then see the referred woman in prison to discuss the program further and complete an assessment.

Contact us:

Manager

Sally Scott

P.O. Box 218

Leederville 6903

Phone: 92281800

Email: wss@ruah.com.au

Re-entry Link Program (pre-release)

Ruah workers visit women for up to three months before they are released from prison, to support them to develop plans and access services to facilitate their positive re-entry into the community once released. Support includes counselling, referrals to community agencies and specialist services, access to education and training, accommodation advice, advocacy and information.

Re-entry Link Program (post-release)

Ruah workers can support women who have accessed support pre-release for a further six months after they are released from prison. Support includes counselling, referrals to community agencies and specialist services, access to education and training, accommodation advice, advocacy, family support and information.

Life Skills Groups (pre-release)

Life Skills Group provides six weeks of facilitated group meetings to women who are due to be released from ‘Bandyup Women’s Prison’ and ‘Boronia Pre-Release Centre for Women’within three months. The focus of the groups is to assist women to address practical issues, develop skills and coping strategies prior to release to minimise the risk of returning to prison.

Moorditj Yorgas Yarning Group (Aboriginal Lifeskills Group)

Moorditj Yorga’s Yarning Group is facilitated by the Ruah Aboriginal Healing Worker in Bandyup Women’s Prison and Boronia Pre-Release Centre for Women, and is open to Aboriginal women. The Group is held one full day a week for a period of 6 weeks and is open to Aboriginal women. The Group has been developed to allow Aboriginal women a safe place/space to talk (yarn) about traumas and issues past and present. Topics covered include: Self Esteem, Self Advocacy (with government agencies), Children in Care, Aboriginal Women’s Health, Alcohol and Drugs, Protective Behaviors for children, and Family Violence.

Assistance to return clients to regional community.

Ruah workers provide support to assist women to return to their regional community. This includes referral to a Re-Entry Link service provider in the region, and, with consent, provision of information and support plans developed to assist the new service provider to provide ongoing support. Ruah workers also negotiate transportation arrangements with the prison for the client to be re-located to their own community.

For further information, please view our pamphlet.

Housing Support Program – Corrective Services Initiative

What is HSP?

Housing Support Program is part of a range of programs funded under the joint Commonwealth/State National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).

This program supports women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to secure and maintain long term, stable accommodation. Ruah Housing Support Program workers liaise with housing providers, including community housing, public housing and property managers in the private sector to source suitable properties for long term housing. If appropriate, worker support clients to return to the family home, or with other family or friends, as a member of the household.

The program ensures women who are at risk of homelessness and exiting Corrective Services facilities , effectively link with mainstream services to address a range of issues including employment, health, financial management and social integration to achieve long term, secure, stable housing.

Who does HSP work with?

Women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness who are exiting Corrective Services facilities and/or programs.

Clients should be identified as having sufficient skills and motivation to progress to independent and stable long –term accommodation through th support provided by the program.

How to access HSP

Potential clients need to be referred by a service provider. Once referred Housing Support Program Coordinator will contact the person referred and meet to conduct an assessment. Contact Ruah Women’s Support Service HSP Coordinator to gain a referral form, via the contact details below:

Ruah Women’s Support Service

P.O. Box 218

Leederville 6903

Phone: 92281800

Email: wss@ruah.com.au