The DAWN Program
The DAWN Mentoring Program
DAWN provides long-term support to women recovering from the ramifications of domestic violence. This is done through a mentoring process, where volunteers are matched with a client to provide social support, assistance with practical issues and companionship.
The program’s focus is to improve the safety, confidence, and community connectedness of women who have experienced family violence, thus improving their mental health and their ability to manage their lives, their children and their capacity to contribute to the community. The program is designed to increase community engagement by strengthening ties between vulnerable women, trained volunteers, and local support networks.
DAWN sits under the umbrella of Doncare’s Family Violence Recovery program. Women can also attend psycho-educational support groups, be linked with a Doncare counsellor, and be offered practical and financial assistance through the Emergency Relief Program.
Doncare recruits women as volunteer mentors to provide weekly domiciliary support to women for a 12-24 month period. The women who become DAWN Mentors come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Over the years it has been found that over half these women have had experience themselves of domestic violence, either directly or through friends or family members.
Clients are referred by Family Support Workers, Counsellors, Emergency Relief Workers, women’s refuges, other welfare services and police. The complexities of the work involve assessment of safety, mental health, and sometimes child protection issues, involving a wide array of services from police to legal and allied health professionals. Most of the mentors have helped clients to access services, including financial counselling, women’s support groups, and children’s services. They advocate for their clients with the Department of Housing, Centrelink, legal services and in locating services for their children. They will not only attend court with clients, but have attended parent teacher interviews, case conferences and VCAT.
Call us on 9856 1500 to find out more about referrals into the DAWN Program.