Inner-City Women's Initiative Society (ICWIS) is partnering with the UBC School of Nursing on a research project called STRENGTH, that examines how a women-led, strengths based approach to outreach and intensive case management benefits women living in the community. The focus of STRENGTH is to create a more effective outreach service that fosters trust and engagement between services and women with living/lived experience of gender-based violence in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
ICWIS is a small grassroots non-profit community-based agency that provides services to women in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. We use a harm reduction philosophy with a client-centered approach and a continuum of care model working in partnership with other health care and community services to improve the quality of life for vulnerable women.
Inner-City Women's Initiatives Society exists to address and reduce the social determinants of health for vulnerable women who live in and/or access services in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside through advocacy, education, outreach and support services.
Our Guiding Principles:
Our program philosophy encompasses the following principles:
• All women deserve respect, dignity and the power to make their own decisions
• Women are the experts in their own lives and we work in partnership with them to reduce the harm associated with their current situations
• We strive for prevention rather than crisis intervention
• We work in close partnerships with other community organizations to provide a continuum of care and ensure women have support and access to services as needed
The Outreach/Research Interventionist working within a women-led, strengths based approach, will use outreach and intensive case management models to work collaboratively with clients to decrease vulnerability and risk of experiencing violence while increasing their resiliency and self-efficacy through the development of a personalized plan to achieve their self-identified goals. The Outreach/Research Interventionist will work with vulnerable women who have risk factors such as homelessness or inadequate housing, addiction and/or mental health issues, and a history of trauma and violence. Over a period of time the Outreach/Research Interventionist conducts an assessment using a standardized assessment process to explore health status, financial/legal issues, housing status, transportation, social support, nutritional health and mental health/addictions, and works with each woman to develop their personalized plan.
The Outreach/Research Interventionist works within a team that includes other Outreach/Research Interventionists and peer outreach workers who will support engagement and a continuum of care with women who are hard-to-engage. A component of this position involves maintaining records of work activities, data collection and working with the research team to analyze the effectiveness of the program. This will be done with as minimal impact to the women we are serving as possible.
Work Schedule: 4 days / 32 hours per week
• Based on trauma-informed care, and a women-led, strengths based approach, conducts a priority based assessment with clients to identify strengths, needs and risks;
• Create safe and trusting relationships with self-identified women;
• Supports participants in identifying strategies for managing health, social, economic and/or family challenges and in testing out self-management strategies;
• Provides support on an outreach basis including, at times, with peer outreach workers;
• One-to-one case management and support;
• Facilitates referrals and linkages to social supports and clinical teams and liaises with service providers to ensure client access to services;
• Provides transition and discharge planning for clients from the STRENGTH program;
• Maintains professional documentation;
• Maintains appropriate records of interactions with women in accordance with research project guidelines;
• Participates in professional development opportunities as required;
• Complies with ICWIS policies and procedures, and research project protocol, and the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
• Consults with their supervisor at ICWIS on client and program issues and directions;
• Actively participates in research related and ICWIS operations team meetings;
• Engages in peer feedback and consultation during team meetings and monthly research team meetings;
• Provides feedback to the project co-leads regarding study implementation challenges and recommendations for strengthening the intervention;
• Performs other related duties as required
Education and Experience:
• Completion of a Bachelor's degree in a related discipline
• Minimum of 3 years related experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience
• Two years case management/client support experience in a community setting
• Direct experience working with women who experience marginalization including stigma, discrimination, poverty, and other health and social inequities
• Direct experience in working with risk factors related to gender-based violence, mental health, substance use problems and/or homelessness or inadequate housing
• Direct experience in harm reduction and trauma-and-violence informed approach
• Demonstrated knowledge of the living contexts of Aboriginal people including poverty, lateral violence, racism, and the Indian Act and Residential School legacy
• Knowledge of issues related to vulnerable women and women in survival sex work
• High degree of familiarity with government systems and community resources within Vancouver, especially Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
• Demonstrated knowledge of the dynamics and effects of interpersonal violence and historical trauma, principles of health promotion and empowerment, the social determinants of health, and community-based health and social services
Skills and Abilities:
• Demonstrated skill in exercising a high degree of responsibility in relation to professional judgments
• Commitment to a strengths-based collaborative model of practice and comfort working in varied community settings (e.g. such as street corners, health or social service agencies or women's homes)
• Solid judgment and ethical conduct including ability to maintain confidentiality, tact and discretion
• Sensitivity in working with marginalized populations
• Ability to engage in a respectful and non-judgmental manner
• Ability to identify problems early, and engage in constructive problem solving
• Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing
• Ability to work independently and in cooperation with others
• Ability to be self-directed and flexible
• Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize
• Ability to work in a fast-paced work environment
• Ability to document work with accuracy and high degree of reliability
• A valid BC Driver's License is required
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