The case work approach
Women who are vulnerable in so many ways can find life very challenging. The Women’s Accommodation Support Service (WASS) aim to transform women’s lives, supporting them to move into positive futures where they can each lead a full and rewarding life.
We have been doing so using an intensive case work approach since 2009. We are highly effective in supporting women to bring about lasting change. Our approach is underpinned the following principles:
We are women-centred
Homeless services are in the main set up by and for men, but we know that women with complex needs often become homeless. We have extensive experience of getting to the root causes of homeless women’s needs so we can help them to access the right support at the right time.
We establish safe women-only spaces
We know that feeling safe, physically and psychologically, is essential for women who are vulnerable, and many women struggle to engage with the standard provision for the homeless. Being able to access support in a safe women-only environment is a crucial first step for women to bring about change. WASS are committed to working in partnership to develop women-only hubs across Sussex. This ensures women can access many different services and helps other providers to be more flexible in their responses to women with complex needs.
We are adaptive, responsive and flexible
The relationship between the worker and woman is at the heart of our approach. Women engage in one-to-one support with a skilled and experienced women’s support worker. Developing a safe, trusting relationship empowers each woman to re-connect with her strengths, recognise her choices, engage with practical and emotional support and ultimately move away from damaging lifestyles.
We are trauma-informed
We recognise that most of the women we support have experienced abuse and trauma as children and or as adults. By taking women’s experiences of trauma into account we prioritise listening to our clients, believing them and supporting them to regain control of their life.
We produce support together
We see each woman as the expert in her own life. Experience shows us that for change to be sustainable it must be a collaboration between the woman and her case worker.
We are strengths-based
We recognise that each woman has assets and resources. We support her to enhance her resilience and self-worth and identify her key strengths that will support her to build a positive future.
Outcomes and Impact
87.5% of women were securely accommodated as a result of their engagement with WASS in West Sussex.
“I have started college, found a home and got to keep my dog with me …. I am expanding my hobby into a self-employed small business.”
WASS is being delivered in Worthing, Hastings and Brighton with developments in Eastbourne under way.
Further information and contact details
In addition to one-to-one support, our WASS Hubs in Hastings, Eastbourne and Worthing are continuing to offer casework support remotely by phone or email during Covid-19 restrictions.
All enquires for the WASS should be directed to:
Tel: 07541 641 367
Email inbox and voicemail are checked twice weekly, so please leave a name and contact details and one of the team will make contact with you!
BWC Women’s Hub: Wednesdays 2:30pm – 4pm. Seaview Project, Hatherley Road, St. Leonards on Sea, TN37 6LB
BWC Women’s Hub: Fridays 10am – 12pm. Eastbourne Blind Society, 124 – 142 Longstone Road, Eastbourne, BN22 8DA
BWC Women’s Hub: Mondays 1pm - 3pm. Turning Tides, St Clare’s Day Centre, 6 - 8 Marine Place, Worthing, BN11 3DN