DASH is pleased to be participating today in the second annual World Conference for Women’s Shelters, organized by the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Global Network of Women’s Shelters. The conference is organized as a peer-to-peer learning event, with over 2,000 advocates working in women’s shelters from all over the world learning best practices from one another. This year, the event is taking place in our home of Washington, DC.
Peg Hacskaylo, DASH Executive Director, Presenting at World Conference on Women's Shelters
DASH staff is presenting several workshops at the conference. Yesterday Peg Hacskaylo presented with Melissa Hook at the DC Office of Victim Services on Issues and Approaches to Developing Safe Housing, including discussions of how to start a safe housing program. The two used DASH’s experiences as a case study in building effective partnerships with the city agencies to build housing capacity, with various issues to consider, including evaluating housing options, assessing different models for housing, obtaining financing, planning for development, handling community relations, preparing for facility management and security, and determining program suitability.
Later in the day Peg presented DASH’s video and discussed DASH’s program model with Suzanne Marcus, DASH’s Deputy Director. On Thursday DASH management staff will present a workshop in the Empowering & Supporting Advocates track, titled Creating a Management Structure to Support Survivor and Advocate Safety. Along with Suzanne, Victoria Green, Clinical Director, and Michelle Linzy, Addictions Specialist, will discuss DASH’s unique management structure, designed to: 1) Support advocate (case worker) staff with navigating the nuances that exist within a low barrier, voluntary services housing program model; and 2) Process the emotional impact of the work to prevent advocate burn out which can often lead to staff abuse of power. This session will examine the role of DASH’s Clinical Director and Chemical Addictions Specialist staff to promote trauma informed advocacy with a diverse population of survivors and their families.
The goal is that delegates to the conference will leave with an enhanced understanding of how a management structure that centers on intensive supervision and support of the non-professional/ advocate staff can minimize compassion fatigue and increase staff retention. Delegates will also learn how having a Clinical Director, Chemical Addictions Specialist and other staff specialists can provide a space within the organization for on-going professional development, program innovation and individual growth.
DASH resident children offer flowers of welcome to Danish Princess Mary
During this historic world conference DASH is hosting shelter tours for program operators and city administrators from New York City, advocates from East Timor, and officials from the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. Conferences such as this one provide DASH with the imperative opportunity to share in our unique approach and best practices. We remain committed to domestic and sexual violence survivor services that are informed by innovation, survivor autonomy and respect, and delivering the best possible outcomes for program participants. We are happy to also learn from our colleagues around the world – a DASH program participant (the child of a survivor in our housing) today presented the Danish princess, one of the conference attendees, with flowers as welcome to the United States.
Thanks to NNEDV and the GNWS for the energy and vision required to put an event like this together.