The SAFE Project is a special, voluntary program to improve the safety and employability of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who are currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
The SAFE Project may help domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who are having trouble reaching their goals because of problems that include:
- Living in fear because someone is hurting or threatening them.
- Risk danger if the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) pursues child support.
- Are overwhelmed by current or past sexual or domestic violence and cannot work.
- Their intimate partner keeps them from work or training.
The SAFE Project is voluntary and requires a referral from a participant’s EES worker. Participants may voluntarily enroll for services at any time.
The SAFE Project is confidential.
Participants need only share information necessary to develop a plan around safety and self-sufficiency. All information is confidential unless a participant decides to release it. Safety
For the SAFE Project to be effective, participants and their children must be safe.
The SAFE Project helps participants develop a SAFE Plan based on individual needs with the goals of safety and economic self-sufficiency. A domestic violence case worker, employed by Catholic Charities Harbor House, assists with developing the SAFE Plan. This plan will include information about warning signs of domestic violence and child abuse to help eliminate future incidents. The plan will also include tips for creating safer environments, identifying people to ask for help and safe places to go in dangerous situations.
The SAFE case worker will serve as an advocate and guide participants in the right direction.
Upon a participant entering the program, a SAFE case worker will conduct an assessment of each household members’ current medical status including an evaluation of insurance coverage as well as access to a primary care physician or clinic, mental health services, prescriptions and eye care. Based on this assessment, the case worker will help determine specific needs and refer participants to the appropriate places for medical care.
Case workers will also offer participants access to resources in their community based on their individual needs to assist with clients becoming stable and self-sufficient.
Learning to develop and stick to a household budget is important. During initial assessment to the SAFE Project program, case workers will work with participants to develop a realistic household budget as well as a plan to keep that budget on track.
Participants will have access to easy to understand financial literacy education materials that will teach about managing and saving money. Case workers will work with participants on an on-going basis to help make sure that their budget stays on track.
One of the main goals of the SAFE Project is to reduce employment barriers for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. Once in a safe environment, it is time to focus on how participants will financially support themselves and their children.
As part of the SAFE Project, participants will complete an assessment regarding income and employment status of all adults currently living in the home. Based on individual situations, case managers will refer participants to local workforce centers for enrollment in the Kansas Works program. Referrals will also be made for specific job and career training programs available in certain communities. All job related activities will be coordinated with a participant’s DCF EES worker to avoid duplication.
As part of the SAFE Project, participants will have access to a wide variety of tools to help improve all of their life’s relationships but especially those with their children and intimate partner.
Case workers will provide tools for participants to use in resolving conflicts safely and appropriately.
Case workers will include information on parenting skills to not only those families with children but also eligible pregnant women. Participants will have access to educational material to increase their knowledge of healthy, effective, appropriate parenting techniques.
Participants of the SAFE Project as well as domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors who are not receiving TANF are invited to participate in free relationship education classes to strengthen relationships of individuals, couples and families. The workshops will utilize the evidence-based curriculum of Within My Reach (WMR). The curriculum focuses on building healthy relationships through positive conflict resolution along with the importance of two-parent families contributing to positive development of children. The classes will be offered quarterly in four locations, Wichita, El Dorado, Hutchinson and Pittsburg and will be facilitated by DV trained SAFE case workers.