When working with vulnerable people time truly is of the essence.
And one of the latest methods to ensure help arrives, fittingly, incorporates a watch.
IMPACT Community Services is collaborating with Hearts of Purple to deliver technology designed to support vulnerable people in the form of duress safety watches.
Staff working in IMPACT’s Intensive Family Support program will be kitted out with the watches for when they go into potentially dangerous environments to support families experiencing high-risk domestic family violence.
Unfortunately, DFV matters are not uncommon in the region.
More than 75% of IMPACT IFS families are being supported for current DFV or the impacts of DFV, and the rates of multiple and complex support needs for parents and children in the Bundaberg area have increased.
With local support service system under pressure, there are waitlists, delays, no housing options and DFV refuges are full.
The watches are also an option for clients who have been assessed as living in high-risk situations.
There are a range of features, such as monitoring and alarms connected to support services, which seek to improve safety.
IMPACT’s IFS Manager Melissa Clarke said, “from a team perspective it’s about collaboration with Hearts of Purple around promoting women’s safety”.
“It's not only for the team but it’s increasing people’s safety and that direct access to the best technology,” Ms Clarke said.
“Sometimes we’re travelling four hours from Bundaberg and unless we’re in range, that’s the biggest thing, we could be walking into anything and everything in any single moment.”
The IFS team members have been exposed a number of times to not only violent situations, but those involving drugs, alcohol and other abusive situations.
Ms Clarke said they will order additional watches as needed.
While the watch is a great tool to get help, people still need to be hypervigilant and follow other security measures as the device itself is not necessarily going to save your life should violence occur.
For more information about IMPACT Community Service’s IFS program visit Home - Impact Community Services or call us on 4153 4233.