[twocol_one] Implementation of A Domestic and Family Violence Screening program in the Emergency Department

Women who have experienced domestic and family violence use health services more frequently than women who have not. Early identification and intervention by the health system may reduce health problems associated with domestic and family violence and lead to saving for health sector. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a new domestic and family violence screening program, which was based on an ecological model and introduced by a social work team in the Emergency Department of a major metropolitan Hospital.  The evaluation method included an audit of social work case files to assess the effect on referral rates and a survey of Emergency Department staff to obtain perceptions of the impact of the program on the staff and clients. In a 3 month period following the introduction of the program, the rate of referral to social work increased by 213% Staff agreed that the Emergency Department is an appropriate place to ask about domestic and family violence under certain conditions. Findings suggest that an ecological social work model provides an approach to screening for domestic and family violence that not only contributes to increased identification and supportive client interventions but may also contribute to more sustainable systemic change

Learning outcomes:

Attendees will gain an insight of the impact of Domestic and Family Violence on patient health status and cycle of violence, how screening for domestic violence contributes to increased identification and supportive interventions.  Attendees will gain insight to information they need to obtain from patients also the resources and services available to unsure safety

This topic is relevant to themes of this conference as Domestic and family violence is one of the most common forms of violence against women in Australia.

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Workshop Facilitator: Debbie McCarthy

Deb McCarthyTeam Co-ordinator Emergency Department Social Work Service, Emergency Department, Flinders Medical Centre, SALHN, SA Health

Debbie McCarthy completed the Bachelor of Social Work in 2000, prior to this she was an enrolled nurse for 15yrs. During this period she was working in brain injury unit, residential care facilities and palliative care.

As a social worker she has been employed as a counsellor for Human Services Task Force in tissue retention, she has experience as an inpatient social worker in ICCU, short stay and aged care. She has been a project officer for a number of programs within the health sector.  Her current position is the Emergency Department Social Work Team Coordinator in Flinders Medical Centre and has been doing this work for 12years, having extensive experience in crisis intervention and trauma counselling. She has designed a number of resources for consumers and staff within the health sector.

Debbie has established a domestic violence screening program and tools for use within the Emergency Department, which has been adopted by major hospitals in South Australia and New South Wales. She has won the Excellence in Allied Health Award for the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network in 2015 for her work in domestic violence.

Instructors: Heidi Ehrat (Senior Research Officer (Domestic Violence), SA Office for Women & SA Coroner’s Court), Kristina Birchmore (Manager Women’s Safety Strategy)

Target Audience: Multidisciplinary

Date: Saturday 2nd July 1050 – 1220

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