Violence against women and girls funding review: analysis of responses
Analysis of the responses to the Strategic Review of Funding and Commissioning of Violence Against Women and Girls Services call for evidence.
How can a consistent quality of services for women, children and young people experiencing violence against women and girls be ensured across Scotland?
This question comprised 202 responses, consisting of 130 responses by individuals and 72 by organisations. The organisations that answered this question included 8 local authorities/governments, 4 NHS organisations, 40 third sector organisations, and 20 classified as "other" or did not specify. There were six themes emerging from the qualitative analysis of the free-text responses to this question.
Theme 1: Nationwide minimum standards
The most common theme was the need for nationwide minimum standards to ensure a consistent quality of VAWG services across Scotland. Respondents believed that the consistency of quality would only be ensured if service providers had a legal duty to meet predefined minimum standards that would be the implemented in a national level. The responses indicated that while minimum standards would still allow for differences in quality across regions, it would at least guarantee a certain level of quality deemed acceptable. Some respondents highlighted that similar frameworks and regulations already exist, but they would need to be updated and implemented on a wider scale.
"The continuation and development of the existing Women's Aid network of services across Scotland (under Scottish Women's Aid) is absolutely essential to ensure the future consistency and quality of DA services." (Third sector organisation)
"Minimum standards (like UNs' The Inter-Agency Minimum Standards) to ensure the same practice is applied across the board and support the grassroots organisations where there is a capacity issue in incorporating these." (Third sector organisation)
Theme 2: Consistent funding
The second most common theme was the need for long term funding of VAWG services. Specifically, respondents highlighted that significant regional differences come from budget constraints. As a result, the provision of long-term funding that is consistent across regions would contribute towards minimising the differences in service provision and would allow providers to develop quality services.
"Adequate long-term funding that allows agencies to design, deliver and evaluate services that work." (Third sector organisation)
"There needs to be consistency in funding, evaluation, and evidencing of support provided and the impact this is having on those most affected by domestic abuse." (Third sector organisation)
Theme 3: Monitoring and supervision
The next most frequent theme was the need for monitoring and supervision of VAWG services. The answers emphasised that robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be in place to ensure consistency of quality across regions. Some respondents believed that appropriate monitoring mechanisms are required to ensure compliance with the national minimum standards, while others suggested that these mechanisms could also be used to evaluate the use of the increased funding and whether it has contributed to increased quality of services.
"Every organisation that receives funding from the public purse should be required to show how they monitor and evaluate the services provided by that funding. There should be a set criteria that is used across all services and the reporting needs to be made public." (Individual)
Theme 4: Listen to service users and survivors
The next most common theme was the suggestion to incentivise and consider more carefully the feedback of those receiving or having received VAWG support. Respondents indicated that, in order to have a consistent standard of quality across each region, it is vital to understand the current shortfalls. Respondents emphasised the importance of seeking feedback from service users and survivors of VAWG on what worked well and what needs to be improved. Some also proposed involving survivors in the design and delivery of services.
"The Government should ask recipients of care one year later to rate services provided and act upon the womens' feedback." (Individual)
"Meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience of VAWG (including those not currently accessing services) in the design and delivery of service monitoring and evaluation. This could include ensuring people with lived experience of VAWG are actively involved in developing national standards/ principles to design and evaluation future models of service delivery […]" (Local authority/government)
Theme 5: Single-sex spaces
The next most common theme was the need for single-sex spaces. Specifically, respondents believed that a consistent quality of VAWG services across Scotland could be ensured by offering single-sex spaces in VAWG services, provided by females for females.
"There needs to be a single Scotland wide set of minimum statutory standards […] that must include the right to female only single sex services as described in the single sex exemption in the equality act 2010." (Individual)
Theme 6: Workforce training
The last prevalent theme was the need for additional training among the VAWG workforce. Respondents believed that one of the main issues in the quality of provision is the inadequate training in VAWG workforce. Consequently, implementing mandatory high-quality training would increase the level of quality nationwide. A relevant sub-theme was the creation of new accreditations that would signify high-level provision.
"Ensure that staff are adequately trained and hold recognised qualification that are easily affordable and easy to access." (Third sector organisation)
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