Domestic violence, housing and employment: Workers' perspectives on employment assistance in supported accommodation

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    7 Citations (Scopus)


    In response to contemporary understanding about the association between financial security and womens ability to escape domestic violence and homelessness, this paper reports on a small scale pilot study conducted with workers from generalist homelessness services and domestic violence-supported accommodation services in South Australia on responding to womens requests for assistance to seek employment. Workers from both accommodation service types advised that approximately one third of women at their services asked for employment-related assistance at the point of service intake or soon after. Although relatively few women received employment support following their requests, assistance was four times more likely at the generalist homelessness services than the domestic violence services. Agency priorities, philosophies and workers assessments of womens capacity to engage in employment were cited as reasons for not responding to womens employment requests. Women who secured employment prior to service exit, whether helped to do so or not, were perceived as more confident with the prospect of supporting their families independently following exit and more able to secure suitable housing when compared to other women. Follow-up and outreach visits indicated that women who worked had a stronger sense of financial security, housing stability and social connectedness, but that maintaining employment following service exit was difficult.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)415-433
    Number of pages19
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


    • Domestic violence
    • Employment
    • Homelessness
    • Social inclusion
    • Supported accommodation


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