The Women’s Shelter Armidale (WSA) is an organisation funded by the public purse and, as such, is accountable to the community at a number of levels. This includes accountability to its funding organisations, to its clients, and to the community at large.
The major funding body for WSA is the Department of Family and Community Services, and the continued support of FaCS has been fundamental to the function of the organisation. WSA is, in turn, accountable to FaCS for the responsible and efficient use of this substantial recurrent funding to provide a comprehensive range of services to women and children who are experiencing distress and disadvantage. Accountability at this level has included adherence to a Funding Agreement between WSA and FaCS, and to a set of Service Specifications, developed cooperatively between the two organizations, which outlines much of WSA function and service provision.
WSA receives a substantial annual grant from Legal Aid NSW to provide the New England Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (NEWDVCAS), an additional project of Women’s Shelter Armidale. This funding grant is provided for the provision of Court Advocacy services to women throughout the New England region, to ensure that women who have experienced, or who are at risk of, domestic violence have fair access to the protection of the law (for more information see NEWDVCAS). WSA maintains accountability to Legal Aid NSW through its adherence to a funding agreement as well as six-monthly reports outlining service provision and expenditure of NEWDVCAS.
Our main “Shelter” building is provided by Housing NSW and WSA is therefore accountable to Housing NSW for the appropriate use of this vital resource. WSA maintains accountability to Housing NSW through its adherence to a funding agreement with Housing NSW. WSA is committed to the eradication of homelessness in NSW, and is a registered “Community Housing Provider” (see Community Housing Provider and Committment to Housing for more information).
WSA is also accountable to its individual Clients and to the community of New England in general. Accountability to individual clients is achieved through regular active consultation, as well as confidential feedback strategies, with clients and by diligence in meeting their stated needs and wishes, wherever possible.
Accountability to the broader community is achieved by diligence in providing the services that we are funded to provide, to assist women and children who have experienced the distress and disadvantage caused by relational abuse and homelessness. In addition WSA is diligent in its ongoing consultation and research, within the community, to ensure that service provision continues to meet the changing needs of our clients and of the community at large.